Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
1 Apr 2022
4:10 pm

Mkhwebane files interdict to halt impeachment, slams Ramaphosa’s ‘conduct’ in papers

Citizen Reporter

The Public Protector also says Ramaphosa's decision to initiate the process of her suspension is 'unconstitutional'.

Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane at the Pretoria Magistrate's Court appearing on charges of Perjury, 21 January 2021. Picture: Neil McCartney

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has launched an interdict application to halt Parliament from proceeding with her impeachment.

Mkhwebane filed her papers at the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

Interdict

In part A of her application, Mkhwebane wants a court order forcing National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to halt the impeachment process as well as preventing President Cyril Ramaphosa from suspending her.

The Public Protector also wants Mapisa-Nqakula to withdraw the letter she wrote to Ramaphosa.

The Speaker informed the president in the letter that Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee on the Section 194 Inquiry would proceed with the impeachment.

In part B, Mkhwebane wants Mapisa-Nqakula’s decision to send the letter declared “unconstitutional” and “invalid”.

ALSO READ: Another win for Ramaphosa as court dismisses Mkhwebane’s CR17 rescission application

The Public Protector has argued that Ramaphosa’s decision to initiate the process of her suspension process was “irrational”.

Ramaphosa on 17 March wrote to Mkhwebane asked her to explain why he should not suspend her during the inquiry into her fitness to hold office, and gave her 10 days to respond.

Furthermore, she has pointed out that the Section 194 contravened the Constitution by deciding to proceed with the impeachment while the matter is sub judice.

Mkhwebane has asked the court to order Ramaphosa and Mapisa-Nqakula to pay the cost of her application “in an event of opposition” as well as pay personal cost of her counsel.

The interdict application could be heard in court on 25 April.

Rescission

Last month, Mkhwebane approached the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) with a rescission application, seeking an order for the apex court to reverse its own ruling.

The ConCourt in February had given Section 194 committee green-light to proceed the impeachment.

The Public Protector wants the impeachment process suspended until the rescission is finalised.

READ MORE: EFF slams Ramaphosa’s intention to suspend Mkhwebane

Parliament has already indicated that it would oppose the rescission application, and may oppose the interdict as well.

The impeachment process against the Public Protector could take seven months to complete.

Inquiry

Mkhwebane will be the first head of a Chapter 9 institution to face a parliamentary inquiry.

The National Assembly in March last year voted in favour of establishing an ad hoc committee to investigate Mkhwebane’s competency for office.

This is after an independent review panel concluded that it found substantial information which constitutes prima facie evidence of incompetence and misconduct by the Public Protector.

The panel – chaired by Justice Bess Nkabinde – was established by Modise after the DA tabled a motion for Mkhwebane’s removal from office in December 2019.

A total of 275 MPs voted in favour of the motion and 40 against, with one abstention.

NOW READ: Mkhwebane, NA speaker square off over rules to remove her