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ANC shoots down Mahumapelo’s claims over Mkhwebane motion

Supra Mahumapelo.
Supra Mahumapelo.
Image: Phill Magakoe

The ANC has shot down claims by its member of Parliament and former North West premier Supra Mahumapelo that the party would not support the motion seeking to remove Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane from her office.

Mahumapelo last week told members of the media that the ANC MPs would not vote in support of the parliamentary process brought forward by the DA to remove Mkhwebane from office.

The process is scheduled to start this week through a selection of members who will serve on the independent panel.

The ANC said that Mahumapelo was not speaking on behalf of the party as such a decision has not been taken.

“Comrade Mahumapelo spoke in his personal capacity and his views do not represent the organisation,” party spokesperson Pule Mabe said on Sunday.

“It should be noted that the ANC has not yet discussed its position on the motion.”

Speaking outside the Cape Town magistrate’s Court where his fellow MP Bongani Bongo was appearing on charges of corruption, Mahumapelo said there was “no way the ANC in Parliament will support the motion of the opposition in the form of DA to remove the public protector. It’s not going to happen”.

This was seen as a move by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s detractors to keep Mkhwebane, who is involved in a court battle with the president, in power as she, according Mahumapelo, had done a “marvellous” job.

Mahumapelo’s remarks came as Mkhwebane was awaiting response to a letter she wrote to National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise requesting a postponement of the process as the rules governing it were unconstitutional and grossly unfair.

"I am advised that the rules are unconstitutional and unlawful in that they amount to a violation of the constitutionality prescribed duty imposed on organs of state to protect the independence of chapter 9 institutions," Mkhwebane said last week.

Mkhwebane said the rules guiding the process were riddled with "many deficiencies" that she believed warranted a temporary suspension of the process.

The concerns Mkhwebane raised in her letter to Modise were that the rules do not provide for recusal of conflicted parties and that there are members of the executive and legislature who have either been investigated or are being investigated by her office.