Mkhwebane: I'm going to be here until 2023
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is determined to finish her term in office, even amidst calls for her immediate removal.
Calls for her to quit or be fired in terms of the Constitution have mounted following a scathing judgment into her Bankorp/CIEX report in which she had recommended that Absa pay back the over R1-billion Apartheid-era lifeboat given by the Reserve Bank.
The High Court in Pretoria set aside her recommendations and also ordered Mkhwebane to pay 15 percent of the legal costs out of her own pocket.
"I wouldn't quit JJ. I'm going to be here until 2023," Mkhwebane told Frankly Speaking host JJ Tabane on Sunday.
She said that the court judgment ordering her to pay out her own pocket was a threat to the independence of the office of the Public Protector.
"I mean if you have the personal costs on the Public Protector in her personal capacity, that is a threat to the independence of the institution and not only the current Public Protector but any Public Protector who has made a finding and conducted the investigation in good faith," she said.
She said she was still taking legal advice on whether to appeal the judgment on personal costs.
The Democratic Alliance has written to the speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete requesting her to expedite Mkhwebane’s removal from office "in terms of Section 194 of the Constitution" stating these grounds:
- the ground of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence; a finding to that effect by a committee of the National Assembly; and )
- The adoption by the Assembly of a resolution calling for that person’s removal from office.
"The Speaker must now see to it that the proceedings to have the Public Protector removed commence swiftly as Mkhwebane has repeatedly demonstrated that she is not to fit to serve as Public Protector.
"The decision by the High Court to set aside her Bankorp-CIEX report, in which she recommended that ABSA pay back R1.1 billion, was a damning indictment on her fitness to hold office.
"She clearly does not understand her role as Public Protector and misconstrued the powers of her office when, in the same report, she proposed that the Reserve Bank’s mandate be amended," read a DA statement.