SPEAKER APPROVES MOTION FOR INITIATION OF PROCEEDINGS TO REMOVE PUBLIC PROTECTOR

Parliament, The office of National Assembly Speaker Ms Thandi Modise has approved a motion received from the Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance requesting that Parliament initiate proceedings for removal of Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

On 3 December, the National Assembly adopted new Rules concerning the removal of office-bearers in the institutions supporting constitutional democracy. These institutions include the Office of the Public Protector.

The new Rules expand on the broad parameters in section 194 of the Constitution (which provides for the removal of heads of chapter 9 institutions) and previous National Assembly Rules.

The Democratic Alliance’s draft substantive motion for the removal of Advocate Mkhwebane will thus be considered in terms of these new Rules.

The new Rules provide for any member of the National Assembly to initiate, through a substantive motion, proceedings for a section 194 inquiry.

If the Speaker is satisfied that the motion meets all requirements, the National Assembly Speaker must refer the motion and any supporting documents for preliminary assessment to an independent panel. The Speaker must also, without delay, inform the Assembly and the President of this referral.

Having approved the motion, the Speaker has thus written to political parties to put forward proposed nominees to serve on the panel made up of fit and proper South African citizens. The rules stipulate that the panel must collectively have the necessary legal and other competencies and experience to conduct the assessment. A judge may be appointed to the panel but the Speaker must make such an appointment in consultation with the Chief Justice.

Parties have until February 7th to submit their recommended nominees, after which a panel will be appointed.

Within 30 days of its appointment, the panel must conduct and finalise a preliminary assessment on the motion proposing a section 194 inquiry and make a recommendation to the Speaker.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa