ATM 'disgusted' by efforts to remove public protector from office

17 June 2019 - 11:06
By Staff Reporter
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Deaan Vivier Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. File photo.

The African Transformation Movement has leapt to the defence of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and rejected calls for her to be removed from office.

“The ATM has been following with shock and disgust media utterances attributed to the DA on the removal of Advocate Mkhwebane,” the party said in a statement over the weekend.

Mkhwebane has come under fire with the courts having set aside some of her reports and is facing a bid by the DA to have parliament review her fitness to hold office. Her investigation into the alleged Estina dairy farm project scam was recently set aside by the North Gauteng High Court as unconstitutional and invalid.

“The call by the DA exposes its wanting understanding of the constitution, and also confirms its long harboured vindictiveness in opposing Mkhwebane's appointment from the very beginning,” said the ATM.

“The constitution provides that a Public Protector can be removed by a two-thirds parliamentary majority, on grounds of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence. No competent authority has pronounced on any of the grounds at this time.”

The party said Mkhwebane had been “very hard at work since she took office” and had resolved numerous cases impacting vulnerable people who could not afford legal representation.

“Only a handful of some ... formal reports already released are being challenged, and fewer still set aside by courts," said the ATM.

The ANC is to probe allegations that that some of its top leaders, including secretary-general Ace Magashule, helped set up small parties ahead of the recent elections.

On the eve of the elections, the Sunday Times reported that South African Council of Messianic Churches in Christ general secretary Buyisile Ngqulwana had written a damning affidavit claiming that Magashule and former president Jacob Zuma were involved in the formation of the ATM.