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South Africa: MPs set September date to discuss Public Protector’s future

06 October 2016. President Jacob Zuma has appointed Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane as the new Public Protector. His office released a statement earlier Thursday morning, announcing the appointment. The decision was made on the recommendation of the National Assembly, Mkhwebane will serve for a period of seven years with effect from 15 October 2016.Picture: Moeletsi Mabe/ Sunday Times

Parliament will officially discuss and “map out a way forward” regarding Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s tenure after a formal request to review her fitness to hold office.

The DA asked National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise to urgently consider an inquiry into Mkwhebane’s tenure, which was referred to the portfolio committee on justice in June.

This despite ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte saying the party’s national executive committee had not discussed what position its caucus in Parliament should take on the embattled Public Protector.

“The committee has received communication from the Office of the Speaker regarding a request to look into the fitness of advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Public Protector, to hold office,” committee chairperson Bulenani Magwanishe said in a statement.

“The committee will discuss the request and map out a way forward at the first possible opportunity when it resumes its work after the parliamentary recess period, provisionally set down for September 3, 2019. It is only after that will the committee be able to comment further on this matter.”

The announcement comes after numerous calls to expedite the inquiry following numerous, scathing court judgments against Mkhwebane.

These calls gained traction after the Constitutional Court last week, in a majority ruling, found Mkwhebane had put forward a “number of falsehoods” in her controversial Absa/Bankorp investigation, which was described as “flawed” and conducted in “bad faith”.

The Helen Suzman Foundation is the most recent body to call for an expedited inquiry into her fitness.

Corruption Watch, the DA, SACP, Cope as well as the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse and Accountability Now have all expressed their concerns. News24

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