December 12, 2017

DA wants Zuma to suspend Public Protector

11 October 2017, 10:43 | Elsie Buchanan

DA wants Zuma to suspend Public Protector By DESTINY MAN REPORTER

DA wants Zuma to suspend Public Protector        By DESTINY MAN REPORTER

The ruling African National Congress (ANC) on Wednesday voiced "grave concern" over a parliamentary inquiry into Public Protector Busisiwe 's fitness to hold office, calling the move an "opportunistic witch-hunt".

We call on the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services to reject this public stunt by the DA which seeks to demean and erode the integrity of the Office of the Public Protector.

Five ANC MPs agreed to hold an inquiry in the portfolio committee after rejecting a move to establish an ad hoc committee by committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga and opposition parties.

This after ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa slammed the portfolio committee as a whole on Wednesday for agreeing to an inquiry into Mkhwebane and deputy Kevin Malunga. Previous Public Protectors have had their reports taken on judicial review without that resulting in questioning the Public Protector's ability to hold office.

"The ANC views this intended inquiry in a very dim light believing it to be an opportunist exercise requested by the opposition for political expediency", the ANC said.

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Mkhwebane will be the first Public Protector to be probed over her fitness to hold office, just over a year since being appointed to the position.

The Democratic Alliance labelled it overreach and gross misunderstanding of her powers.

She dropped a bombshell when she ordered parliament to change the Reserve Bank's mandate as part of her remedial action over the controversial Absa/Bankorp report.

Kodwa believes Mkhwebane has chosen to "focus her attention on serving the masses" rather than exclusively conducting "Hollywood style investigations".

Motshekga has dismissed the ANC's assertions that the intended inquiry was merely an "opportunistic witch-hunt" by opposition parties created to intimidate Mkhwebane and bend her to their "warped views".

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Mkhwebane "has clearly rattled cages and unsettled entrenched interests", Kodwa said.

The DA's request for the institution of removal proceedings against the Public Protector have absolutely no grounds and remain unfounded. This call for an inquiry is therefore a ridiculous attempt to get publicity.

"The proposed inquiry is merely a witch-hunt designed by the opposition to intimidate her into silence and bend her to their warped views on what constitutes the work of the public protector", Kodwa said.

"The work of her predecessor, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, greatly strengthened our democracy and provided a bulwark against state corruption", Breytenbach said.

He said the oversight committee would not comment on the merits or demerits of the referral by National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete, as it had not dealt with them.

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