Good move or bad call? SA weighs in on inquiry to investigate public protector Mkhwebane

17 March 2021 - 09:54
The National Assembly voted to institute an inquiry into public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office. It is the first time such an inquiry will be held against the head of a Chapter 9 institution. File photo.
The National Assembly voted to institute an inquiry into public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office. It is the first time such an inquiry will be held against the head of a Chapter 9 institution. File photo.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

Politicians and civilians had mixed responses to MPs voting in favour of establishing an inquiry to investigate public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.

History was made on Tuesday when 275 MPs voted for the investigation while 40 voted against it, making Mkhwebane the first leader of a Chapter 9 institution to face an inquiry.

The outcome was seen by some as a victory for the DA.

In February last year, DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone questioned Mkhwebane’s understanding of the law and her mandate. She called for the establishment of an inquiry to investigate her capabilities as the public protector.

An investigation into Mkhwebane found “substantial prima facie” evidence of incompetence on her part, TimesLIVE reported.

DA MPs, including leader John Steenhuisen and Mazonne, welcomed the outcome of the vote, while EFF MPs slammed the ruling party for “voting with the DA”.

The red berets and UDM leader Bantu Holomisa were among opposition parties who opposed the inquiry.

In parliament, EFF MP Natasha Ntlangwini said Mkhwebane was being targeted because of people she has investigated, a sentiment backed by some on social media.

Frustrated at the outcome, EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu tweeted: “The colonial settlers are once again celebrating that they have gained total political control of a liberation movement.” 

Mazzone said Shivambu was bitter and accused him of using “the race card.” 

Shivambu also accused the ANC of “voting for an unlawful and unconstitutional report that seeks to punish the public protector”. 

Steenhuisen thanked MPs who chose SA by supporting the establishment of the inquiry.

Here’s what other people had to say:


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