Saturday, 08 February 2020 18:53


Image: SABC-News.

National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise has extended the deadline for political parties to nominate people to serve on the panel of experts that will conduct a prima facie assessment of the DA motion to remove public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Friday's deadline has been extended to Wednesday February 12, after requests to allow political parties more time to submit nominees.

The National Assembly adopted new rules about removing Chapter 9 office bearers in December. The three-person panel must be fit and proper South Africans who have the necessary legal and other competencies to conduct the assessment.

A judge may be appointed, but the speaker must make such an appointment in consultation with the chief justice. Within 30 days of its appointment the panel must conduct and finalise a preliminary assessment of the motion proposing a section 194 inquiry and make a recommendation to the speaker.

Whilst Mkhwebane has approached the high court in Cape Town challenging the constitutionality of the rules.

"The Speaker [Thandi Modise] will oppose the application in defence of Parliament's powers as provided for in the Constitution which states that these institutions are accountable to the National Assembly," read a statement from Parliament's spokesperson, Moloto Mothapo.

"The parliamentary process regarding the prima facie assessment of the motion proposing removal from office of the Public Protector will continue." 

This process entails appointing an independent panel with three members which will within 30 days determine whether the substantive motion the DA brought for Mkhwebane's removal has any merit and warrants further investigation by a committee of the National Assembly.