Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane‘s request for the Supreme Court Judgment against her attempt to end her possible withdrawn impeachment will not hold back the proceeding, the Section 194 Inquiry Committee said Tuesday.
Mkhwebane’s lawyers informed on Monday Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula that she intended to petition the Constitutional Court to withdraw parts of her judgment delivered earlier this month.
Mkhwebane reportedly indicated that the papers would be filed in the next 10 to 14 days.
The decision of the highest court cleared the way for the Section 194 Inquiry Committee to proceed with the impeachment process. It is chaired by ANC MP Qubudile Dyantyic and has representatives from all political parties in parliament.
Justice Nonkosi’s judgement ordered that Mkhwebane be given legal representation in the proceedings.
‘No legal obligation’
As MPs prepared for Tuesday’s meeting, Mkhwebane sent another letter requesting that the meeting be postponed in light of her decision to go back to court, said Siviwe Njikela, Parliament’s senior legal adviser.
“We responded, explaining that as far as we were concerned there was no legal obligation not to proceed as there was no request or prohibition to stop the process.
“The application has not been submitted. Yesterday [Monday] they indicated they would submit in 10 to 14 days. There is nothing before us but that declaration of intent from the public defender.”
The majority of members agreed that the process should get underway. They praised the formation of the commission to remove a Chapter 9 institution head as a “groundbreaking and groundbreaking” process that has never happened before.
†waste of time’
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa the legal team asked whether Mkhwebane’s own documents would be made available for inspection, even to non-committee members.
He wanted details of Mkhwebane’s investigations and reports to avoid “following one vote”.
“Can we get her documents from the details of how many cases she has worked on since she took over, how many have been litigated and how many of those she lost or won in the courts? I think that information is important for this procedure.”
In addition, Holomisa asked for data on the number of reports from Mkhwebane and the number carried out by the government.
“They also said she was a spy. Does this mean that if you worked for intelligence services after 1994, you can’t work for the government?” Holomisa asked.
Al Jamaah leader Ganief Hendriks asked whether the process will not prove to be a waste of time and resources.
“Is there any chance of getting the two-thirds majority on this issue? This will cost our time and resources and could even overshadow how the JSC Chief Justice interviews went. Aren’t we wasting our time?” he asked.
The commission would get all the documents once the evidence leader is appointed, lawyer Fatima Ebrahim said.
The regulations presented by the legal team have been adopted by the committee members.
Dyantyi said: “As things stand now, the highest court in the country has made a decision, there is nothing stopping us from proceeding.”