NEWS

How To Remove A Public Protector 101

The portfolio committee on justice will this week deal with the DA’s request to institute proceedings to have the Public Protector removed.

09/10/2017 10:38 SAST | Updated 09/10/2017 14:00 SAST

After only a year in office, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's fitness to hold her position is already under scrutiny.

Chairperson of the National Assembly's portfolio committee on justice, Mathole Motshekga, told City Press that his committee would this week deal with the DA's request to institute proceedings intended to remove her from office.

But what does it take to remove the Public Protector?

According to South Africa's Constitution, the Public Protector may be removed from office on the grounds of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence or a finding to that effect by a committee of the National Assembly.

Mkhwebane could also be removed by the adoption of a National Assembly resolution calling for her removal from office. This requires the vote of at least two-thirds of the members of the Assembly.

The Constitution also gives rights to the president to suspend Mkhwebane from office at any time after the start of the committee's proceedings. Zuma must remove Mkhwebane if a majority of the Assembly votes against her.

The DA wrote to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete last month, asking for the institution of a process to remove Mkhwebane.

In a recent statement, the party alleged that Mkhwebane failed to exercise impartiality in her role.

"Papers filed by Barclays Africa allege that Mkhwebane went out of her way to hide the fact that she received submissions from Black First Land First. She also failed to provide full records of her investigation to the South African Reserve Bank and Absa," the party alleged.

City Press reported that the DA was not only taking aim at Mkhwebane; it also wanted her deputy, Kevin Malunga, probed for alleged misconduct.

Malunga allegedly unlawfully terminated an investigation into fraud and irregular expenditure, allegedly by Mondli Gungubele during his tenure at the Ekurhuleni municipality.

Mkhwebane was recently slammed for her recommendations that the Constitution be amended to alter the mandate of the SA Reserve Bank.