Parliament extends deadline to nominate public protector panel

07 February 2020 - 18:22 By TIMESLIVE
The DA wants to remove public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane but she's fighting back.
The DA wants to remove public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane but she's fighting back.
Image: Esa Alexander

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.

“Once the speaker has received these names she will apply her mind and establish the panel,” parliament said on Friday.

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.

The speaker must then schedule the panel’s recommendation for decision by the National Assembly. If the National Assembly resolves the inquiry should go ahead, the matter must be referred to a special section 194 committee for formal inquiry.

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

Modise has indicated that she will oppose the application in defence of parliament’s powers, as provided for in the constitution.