DA urges Zuma to suspend Mkhwebane
Publish date: 12 October 2017
Issue Number: 4325
Diary: Legalbrief Today
The DA has piled the pressure on the ANC and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, calling on President Jacob Zuma to suspend her now that Parliament has agreed to hold an inquiry into her conduct. According to a News24 report, Parliament's Justice Committee agreed this week to hold an inquiry into the actions of Mkhwebane and her deputy Kevin Malunga's conduct over the past year. Five ANC MPs agreed to hold a committee inquiry after rejecting a move to establish an ad hoc committee. The DA has now called on Zuma to suspend Mkhwebane, as allowed for by section 194 of the Constitution. ‘President Zuma is empowered to suspend Advocate Mkhwebane, now that the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services has agreed to our request to initiate proceedings to remove her,’ DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said yesterday. The section in question says the President may suspend a person from office at any time after the start of proceedings of a committee of the National Assembly for that person's removal.
The ANC, meanwhile, has tried to distance itself from the inquiry decision. A second News24 report notes that the office of ANC Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu yesterday blamed the inquiry on the DA, which had tabled the initial request to begin proceedings. This after ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa slammed the committee as a whole for agreeing to an inquiry at all. Five ANC MPs on the committee agreed to hold an inquiry after rejecting a move to establish an ad hoc committee by chairperson Mathole Motshekga and opposition parties. ‘The office of the ANC Chief Whip is disturbed by the DA's malicious campaign against Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane and her deputy, Advocate Kevin Malunga,’ Mthembu said. Mthembu also said the requested inquiry into Malunga had no grounds. The DA requested an inquiry into Malunga for allegedly calling off a probe into alleged municipal fraud in the Ekurhuleni Municipality. Bizarrely, says the report, Mthembu asked the portfolio committee to reject the DA's ‘publicity stunt’, despite it already being voted on by five ANC MPs. A date has not been set for when the portfolio committee will begin the inquiry, but it will be outside normal parliamentary working hours. Meanwhile, Malunga described the complaint against him as nonsensical. He reportedly told The Citizen the investigation file was active, and was being handled by Piet Moloi in the Public Protector’s Johannesburg office.