Thapelo Lekabe
Digital Journalist
2 minute read
18 Mar 2021
10:14 am

Mkhwebane accuses executive, judiciary, MPs of persecuting her

Thapelo Lekabe

Public protector will be the first head of a Chapter 9 institution to face a parliamentary inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Neil McCartney

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has broken her silence following MPs’ vote this week in the National Assembly to institute an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.

Mkhwebane on Wednesday evening accused the executive, some members of the judiciary and MPs of persecuting her for doing her job.

Responding to a news article on Twitter on Tuesday’s vote in Parliament, Mkhwebane said she was not fighting with anyone but was simply doing her job as public protector.

She said she was being “persecuted by the executive, some in the judiciary and legislature who took an oath to defend the Constitution”.

ALSO READ: DA calls on Ramaphosa to suspend Mkhwebane pending inquiry

This is not the first time the embattled public protector has slammed the judiciary for alleged bias towards her.

In January this year, Mkhwebane suggested to her more than 130 000 followers on Twitter that the country’s judiciary had been unfair to her.

She tweeted that she hoped that she would one day witness “a democratic South Africa with a fair and objective justice system”.

And in August last year, she accused certain MPs of bias and conflict of interest when she approached the Western Cape High Court in a bid to block parliament’s removal proceedings against her.

The Western Cape High Court in December dismissed her application to interdict the proceedings. The second part of the application is set to be heard on 7 June in which she is challenging the constitutionality of parliament’s rules on the removal of heads of Chapter 9 institutions.

Mkhwebane will be the first head of a Chapter 9 institution to face a parliamentary inquiry into her competency for office after an independent review panel found substantial information that constitutes prima facie evidence of incompetence and misconduct against her.

The panel was established by National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise last year after the Democratic Alliance tabled a motion for Mkhwebane’s removal from office.

The Economic Freedom Fighters, the African Transformation Movement, the United Democratic Movement and Al Jama-ah voted against the inquiry.

Despite some ANC MPs expressing their objection to the establishment of the inquiry, they toed the party line after ANC national chair Gwede Mantashe instructed them to vote in favour of the inquiry.

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