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Mkhwebane must go‚ says EFF

16 February 2018 - 17:51 By Ernest Mabuza
Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Busisiwe Mkhwebane

The Economic Freedom Fighters on Friday called on Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to leave her office following a High Court in Pretoria judgement.

The EFF said the court remarked that it was clear Mkhwebane did not fully understand her constitutional duty to be impartial in her investigation of the Absa-Bankorp matter.

The court set aside the remedial action made by Mkhwebane‚ in which she recommended that the Special Investigating Unit reopen and amend a presidential proclamation in order to recover misappropriated public funds “unlawfully given to Absa Bank in the amount of R1.125 billion”.

In setting aside this remedial action‚ the court said the SIU Act did not make a provision for the SIU to approach the president to reopen and amend a proclamation. The EFF said the court found that Mkhwebane did not disclose that she met the Presidency and the State Security Agency before she published her report in June last year.

Mkhwebane only mentioned one of the two meetings in court proceedings when her remedial action was challenged in court.

“If this important office is to have integrity it cannot be occupied by people who lie or are misleading‚” the EFF said in a statement.

The EFF said the judgment meant she had failed in her duty. The party said if Mkhwebane refuses to step down‚ the EFF will initiate a parliamentary process to remove her in terms of section 194 of the Constitution.

The section provides for the removal of the Public Protector on the ground of misconduct‚ incapacity or incompetence.