Good move or bad call? SA weighs in on inquiry to investigate public protector Mkhwebane
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.”
It must be tough being Floyd, always the bridesmaid, never the bride. Just bitter number 2. Nothing to use but the race card. I pity him actually, it explains his aggressive attitude. He still does have great taste in shoes though! https://t.co/Gq7KWDULNO— Natasha Mazzone MP (@Natasha9Mazzone) March 16, 2021
Shivambu also accused the ANC of “voting for an unlawful and unconstitutional report that seeks to punish the public protector”.
The anc voting cattle in parliament has once again proven that none of them have the courage of their convictions. They voted for an unlawful and unconstitutional report that seeks to punish the @PublicProtector for ruling against the white capitalist establishment & its puppet.— Floyd Shivambu (@FloydShivambu) March 16, 2021
Steenhuisen thanked MPs who chose SA by supporting the establishment of the inquiry.
For South Africa to work, Parliament must work. But most importantly, the reformers must work together.— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) March 16, 2021
Thank you to all the MPs who have today decided to choose SA and voted in support of the motion to initiate removal proceedings against the #PublicProtector.
We can fix this!
Here’s what other people had to say:
ANC MPs and DA have proven that there is only one opposition party in this country that is The EFF. ANC is full of Sellouts. I predicted that Busisiwe Mkhwebane will go because #CR17 will force MPs to show allegiance by voting with DA. What a time to be alive.— Mr Handsome (@Noxza_dube) March 16, 2021
ANC has learned their lesson from Nkandla disaster. Defending Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane against clear evidence of incompetence is a bad idea. I'm not surprised by the decision their leadership took. She must go. There are many people who can do the job!— Lethabo (@Cheetahplains) March 16, 2021
It's very rare for any of us to be single-issue voters because our needs are multiple and political parties we choose between have multiple strengths and weaknesses.— Eusebius McKaiser (@Eusebius) March 16, 2021
BUT ... I really cannot see myself voting for any party that doesn't want to fire Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane.