An independent panel established to assess if there is prima facie evidence Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane committed misconduct, was incapacitated, or incompetent has submitted its report to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise.
The panel was appointed after DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone tabled a motion in February 2020 for the removal of the public protector. The panel comprised retired Constitutional Court judge Bess Nkabinde, advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza and advocate Johan de Waal.
In a statement on Thursday, parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said the panel had completed its work and the report would be made available in the week of 1 March 2021.
The rules of the National Assembly provide for procedures to remove an office bearer of a Chapter 9 Institution.
The DA submitted “evidence” of more than 7,000 pages to Modise last year to strengthen the party’s motion for the removal of the public protector.
The party listed some of Mkhwebane’s “notable blunders” as:
- The Constitutional Court found that she acted in bad faith and was not honest with the high court regarding her investigation process in the Reserve Bank matter.
- She jumped to the defence of former president Jacob Zuma by laying criminal charges against former public protector Thuli Madonsela for releasing the transcript of her interview with him.
- In late 2019, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria dismissed her appeal to overturn Judge Ronel Tolmay’s scathing judgment of her handling of the Estina dairy farm matter and the report thereof.
- She was also recently reported to have celebrated her 50th birthday party with individuals allegedly involved in state capture, when she chose to spend an evening sipping champagne with the very people she should be investigating.