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Public Protector case: Casac, Corruption Watch make submissions to court

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Gallo Images/Lefty Shivambu



  • Parliament’s guidelines for impeaching Busisiwe Mkhwebane is consistent with worldwide jurisprudence.
  • Advocate Michelle le Roux argued in court that deference ought to be given to Parliament’s selections.
  • The court is listening to Mkhwebane’s application to have the foundations for eradicating a Chapter 9 head declared unconstitutional.

Parliament’s guidelines for eradicating the office bearer of a Chapter 9 establishment are consistent with worldwide jurisprudence, the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) and Corruption Watch’s authorized counsel, advocate Michelle le Roux, informed the Western Cape High Court on Wednesday.

The court is listening to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s application to have the foundations for the impeachment of a Chapter 9 head declared unconstitutional and invalid.

Casac and Corruption Watch are amicus curiae within the case.

READ | Mkhwebane fights impeachment guidelines, tells court: ‘Thandi Modise is standing with the DA’

Le Roux stated accountability, responsiveness and openness are foundational values of the Constitution.

Section 181 of the Constitution identifies the Public Protector as one of many establishments that strengthens constitutional democracy.

She stated the Constitution created the establishment, which values independence most likely above all different standards, as a result of the Public Protector holds highly effective public officers to account.

She stated:

It additionally indicated that the Public Protector should not solely exhibit a excessive diploma of ability and competence, drawing on related skilled expertise, but additionally that the particular person on this job, the particular person main this establishment, is match and correct.

“And that’s because if there is any doubt, if there is any cloud over the individual that occupies the office of Public Protector, we can see that not only will it undermine public trust and confidence in the office, but it may lead to the public officials, that she has to hold accountable, disregarding the office.”

READ | Public Protector case: Mkhwebane making an attempt to dodge being held accountable by Parliament – DA

She stated to guarantee there’s a fully impeccable particular person within the job, there are restricted grounds for elimination – solely incapacity, incompetence and misconduct.

The elimination course of goes by way of the Constitution, Public Protector Act and the foundations of Parliament to be certain that the officeholder shouldn’t be eliminated “subject to whim or caprice or malice”.

Le Roux stated transparency is essential to guard towards vexatiousness in addition to the interference of politicians.

To guarantee a public, open and clear course of, the Public Protector wants to account to Parliament.

Looking at worldwide workplaces related to the Public Protector, Le Roux stated, in most cases, overwhelmingly, it’s the appointing authority answerable for eradicating an ombud.

READ | A ‘confession letter’, double jeopardy and dignity – Mkhwebane asks court to quash impeachment guidelines

She stated this underscores accountability to Parliament and likewise protects the Public Protector.

“In a rationality review, like before the court today, deference to Parliament’s choices would be an appropriate approach,” Le Roux stated.

“Parliament’s choice here is within the range of choices elsewhere, and we would submit some deference.”

Advocate Dali Mpofu, showing for Mkhwebane, dismissed Le Roux’s pleadings as unhelpful to the case.

At the Zondo Commission not too long ago, Mpofu informed Le Roux to “shut up”. Mpofu was representing former SARS commissioner Tom Moyane, whereas Le Roux represented Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

The Mkhwebane matter continued into Wednesday afternoon, with Mpofu responding to arguments raised on behalf of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, and the DA.

Represented

The matter is being heard by Judges Lister Nuku, Elizabeth Baartman and Mokgoatji Dolamo.

Modise is the primary respondent, and the president the second. All heads of Chapter 9 establishments and likewise all events represented in Parliament, albeit that not all are taking part within the matter.

The DA is opposing Mkhwebane’s application, whereas the ATM, UDM and PAC help it.

This is the second a part of Mkhwebane’s application.

The first half, an application to keep the National Assembly’s elimination proceedings towards her till the present application is heard, was dismissed in October.

In March, the Constitutional Court dismissed her application for go away for a direct attraction of the Western Cape High Court’s ruling.

In March, the National Assembly adopted a movement to impeach Mkhwebane after a advice by an impartial, three-person panel really helpful it.

The committee that can deal with the impeachment inquiry hasn’t been constituted but, and the National Assembly is at present in recess.

It will solely reconvene on 16 August.


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