ANC MPs rallied to public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and dismissed a request by DA chief whip John Steenhuisen that she should quickly be removed from office.
The National Assembly’s justice committee adopted an ANC resolution that it was premature to institute an investigation of Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office and it dismissed Steenhuisen’s request.
The matter was put to a vote after about 90 minutes of debate on Wednesday morning, with five MPs voting to dismiss the complaint, while the DA’s James Selfe voted otherwise and the EFF abstained. The National Freedom Party’s Sibusiso Mncwabe voted with the ANC.
MPs argued that while they respected court rulings against Mkhwebane, those findings were not sufficient reasons to institute an inquiry of her fitness to hold office.
“We are taking it seriously and we respect the courts of law and we respect the judgment in the matter of Absa versus public protector,” said ANC MP Gijimani Skosana. “The utterances of the judges in relation to the public protector, we are taking them very seriously … However the judgment on this case and the setting aside of some remedial actions, as serious as it is, we don’t think it’s enough for us to say based only on this, we should institute an inquiry on the fitness of the public protector.”