JOHANNESBURG - Political parties are proposing that an independent panel should consider prima facie evidence on whether a public protector is fit to hold office.
This would also apply to heads of other chapter 9 institutions, including the Auditor-General.
Parliament’s currently considering rules for dealing with the removal of heads of democracy-building institutions.
It comes in light of calls from the DA for Busisiwe Mkhwebane to be removed as Public Protector.
The DA believes Busisiwe Mkhwebane is not fit to hold the office of Public Protector.
But Parliament has no rules in place to deal with a process for removal.
Political parties appear to be in agreement that the Speaker should appoint an independent panel to consider any evidence.
“This is important because before any deliberations starts in the house, before any reflection on the office bearer, this independent panel must say there’s a prima facie case to answer, so you then remove frivolous cases brought against heads of chapter 9 institutions,” said DA chief whip, John Steenhuisen.
Based on the panel’s findings, the ANC says Parliament is well placed to take the matter further.
“As Parliament we are empowered to do our work. We are well equipped to deal with inquiries, so that is why a committee of Parliament will be the right mechanism to deal with this matter with the necessary support,” said Deputy ANC chief whip Doris Dlakude.
Although the committee was at pains to point out that it wasn’t formulating these rules to deal with a specific individual, the IFP wanted to set the record straight on a potential point of conflict.
Parliament’s legal services will now draft definitions for what constitutes misconduct, incapacity and incompetence, before the matter is considered again.