The Public Protector says she'll suffer irreparable harm if Parliament proceeds with an inquiry into her fitness to hold office before the court rules on the matter. The Western Cape High Court is hearing the first part of a case in which Busisiwe Mkhwebane is trying to interdict a process under way in the legislature.
CAPE TOWN - The Public Protector says she will suffer irreparable harm if Parliament proceeds with an inquiry into her fitness to hold office before the court has ruled on the matter.
The Western Cape High Court is hearing the first part of a case in which Busisiwe Mkhwebane is trying to interdict a process underway in the legislature.
Mkhwebane is arguing National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise is treating her unfairly and that Parliament’s impeachment rules are unconstitutional.
Mkhwebane says she can’t be punished twice for her actions and Parliament can’t use its new impeachment rules to question her conduct retrospectively, especially in matters that have already been considered by the courts.
Her legal counsel, Advocate Dali Mpofu, has also taken issue with Parliament wanting a judge to consider evidence against her which could lead to an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.
“The rules are fatally flawed and unconstitutional for breach of separation of powers, and is likely to succeed on that basis alone,” Mpofu said.
Mpofu says the speaker also can’t allow a judge to express an opinion on whether a Parliamentary inquiry should be held or not.
"She misconstrued her powers, which is a different form of unconstitutionality. Because she thought she could do what Baxter calls passing the buck," Mpofu said.
Mpofu says MPs who have already expressed their bias against the Public Protector should not be allowed to judge her actions.
The second part of the case is not expected to be heard until November.
Her legal counsel says, in the meantime, it will only be just for the court to halt the parliamentary process until the judicial review is considered.