The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have rejected President Cyril Ramaphosa’s intention of suspending Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
Ramaphosa sent a letter to Mkhwebane on Thursday asking her to provide him with reasons within 10 days why he should not suspend her in terms of Section 194(3)(a) of the Constitution.
“In light of the resolution of the committee, it would therefore now be appropriate to consider whether or not you ought to be suspended pending finalisation of the committee’s work.”
In a statement, the EFF said Ramaphosa’s intention to suspend Mkhwebane is yet another move to misuse his prerogative to sideline and destroy an African woman.
“Ramaphosa has taken advantage of the process instituted by Parliament to deal with an individual he views as a political opponent. The letter demanding that Mkhwebane pleads her case to not be suspended is a veiled threat, and an effective removal of the Public Protector before a democratic institution can appraise itself on her performance, and whether she is capable of occupying that office.
The EFF said Mkhwebane has been unwavering in her mandate to hold those in power accountable, and she has done so indiscriminately, implicating Ramaphosa and his allies.
“To suspend her is therefore a measure to strip the Office of the Public Protector of its teeth. It is premature, rushed and leads us to conclude that it is a decision taken out of fear, rather than being based on rationality.”
The EFF said the Parliamentary inquiry into Mkhwebane must be given time to do its work.
“This work will undoubtedly include a discussion of matters relating to the president himself. He is therefore compromised and conflicted, and cannot make any objective decision relating to a Chapter 9 institution that has investigated matters relating to him.”
Mkhwebane said she will be consulting with her legal team on a way forward.
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