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Mkhwebane’s court bid to halt impeachment process postponed due to ‘unfortunate development’

Related to the public protector’s application to the Constitutional Court

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is fighting against her impeachment process. File photo.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is fighting against her impeachment process. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s urgent high court case to interdict her possible suspension and halt an impeachment process against her in parliament was postponed on Tuesday because of an “unfortunate development” related to her Constitutional Court litigation.

The hearing was supposed to run over Tuesday and Wednesday in the Western Cape High Court. However, her counsel Dali Mpofu SC said the parties had agreed to postpone it to “seek clarity” over the development, which related to Mkhwebane’s related application to rescind a judgment by the Constitutional Court which paved the way for parliament to proceed with an impeachment process against her.

Mkhwebane has applied to the ConCourt to rescind or reverse that judgment, saying it contains patent errors, but the apex court is yet to give directions or judgment in the application. However, in the meantime, she went to the high court in Cape Town asking for an interim interdict to prevent parliament from pressing ahead until the ConCourt decided. She also wants the high court to order that President Cyril Ramaphosa may not suspend her.

Mpofu gave no further information on what the “unfortunate development” was. However, it appeared the three judges meant to hear the case and counsel had been in discussion about it since Monday evening. The hearing was meant to start at 9am but only got under way after 10am.

Counsel for the DA Steven Budlender SC said the party did not support the postponement but had decided not to object to it “as a matter of pragmatism and practicality”.

The case has been postponed until May 18 and 19.


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