Monday, 03 February 2020 05:19

The constitutional rules and regulations being applied to the removal process for Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane are in line with the law.

In a statement issued on Sunday, parliament said National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise responded to a letter she received from Mkhwebane on Tuesday in which Mkhwebane alleged that the rules agreed to to remove her from office were unconstitutional and unlawful.

“Her letter follows the announcement that the speaker will refer the motion tabled by the DA chief whip, requesting that parliament initiate proceedings for the removal of the public protector from office, to an independent panel of experts to conduct a preliminary assessment,” parliament’s spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo, said.

Modise insisted that this was not the case.

“Parliament’s processes and the rules adhere to the rules of natural justice, including the audi alteram partem rule, and are informed by the relevant constitutional principles of fairness, transparency and accountability. Accordingly, there exists no legal impediment or grounds for the assembly not to proceed with the implementation of the new rules,” Mothapo said.

"The Speaker has confirmed that the substantive motion complied with the form requirements in the rules. The Speaker alone may not unduly obstruct the right of any MP to table a duly compliant motion submitted in line with section 194 of the Constitution," added Mothapo.

He said the independent panel of experts still had to be established before "any decision has been made". He added that parties had until February 7 to submit preferred nominees for the panel.

Mothapo further stated that the National Assembly and the rules of Parliament "safeguard against any risk of abuse of power or unfairness, including the inquiry process outlined in the new rules".

Meanwhile the ANC on Sunday distanced itself from the views of its MP and former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane was doing a marvellous job and she should not be removed from office.

The party said in a statement that it noted the comments made by Mahumapelo around the motion tabled by the DA to initiate proceedings for the removal of Mkhwebane.

He accused the DA of seeking to divide the ANC in tabling the motion against Mkhwebane. Mahumapelo said by tabling the motion while not having the majority in parliament, the DA was hoping that some of the ANC's MPs would be tempted to support its motion.

“It's not going to happen and I thought we must make it very clear, it's not going to happen,” Mahumapelo said.

The ANC said they were yet to decide on the matter.