Public Protector suspended

Friday, June 10, 2022

President Cyril Ramaphosa has suspended Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, from her position with immediate effect.

This after the National Assembly's 194 committee moved to hold a motion for her removal from office.

Some two weeks ago, the Presidency announced that President Ramaphosa had received representations from the Public Protector on why he should not suspend her.

The President’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said President Ramaphosa has paid careful consideration to Mkhwebane’s representations.

“In considering each element of the Public Protector’s submissions carefully, the President has taken into account the nature of the Public Protector’s office and his own Constitutional obligations,” he said.

Magwenya said the President has given the Public Protector a “fair hearing by according her sufficient time and opportunity to make submissions” regarding the then pending suspension.

“Section 194(3) (a) of the Constitution provides that the President may suspend the Public Protector (or any member of a Chapter 9 institution) “at any time after the start of proceedings by a committee of the National Assembly for [their] removal,” he said.

He assured that the work of Mkhwebane’s office will not stall in her absence.

“Section 2A (7) of the Public Protector Act states that whenever the Public Protector is, for any reason unable to perform the functions of his or her office, or while the appointment of a person to the office of Public Protector is pending, the Deputy Public Protector shall perform such functions.

“President Ramaphosa and Advocate Mkhwebane are both obligated to act in the best interest of the country, in compliance with the Constitution and mindful of the need to protect all Constitutional institutions. The President’s decision to suspend Advocate Mkhwebane is the best manner to fulfil these obligations,” Magwenya said. –