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Probe into fitness of Public Protector Mkhwebane further delayed

Probe into fitness of Public Protector Mkhwebane further delayed

CAPE TOWN - The process of instituting an inquiry into the fitness of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has been further delayed.

Speaker Thandi Modise has been approaching people nominated by parties represented in Parliament to see whether they are prepared to be part of the independent panel that will decide whether or not an inquiry should go ahead.

But the National Assembly’s programming committee heard on Thursday that so far, only one person had indicated they were available to serve on the three-person panel.

The search is still underway for three "fit and proper" South Africans to make up the panel to look into the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s motion calling for the removal of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

But it is likely to take a little bit longer.

It’s emerged that only one of five people asked so far has indicated their availability to serve on the panel.

National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise said that she would now approach other names among those nominated by political parties to see if they were ready and willing to serve.

"We must also emphasise that [those who declined] did give [reasons]. And the reasons they gave were some of those that we had not been aware of, sometimes they cited that the possibilities of conflict [of interest] would come in, were they to serve.

"So all the reasons given to us were open and we think, very honest. And so we are looking at a second round of approaching people.

"If we do not get [it] right, I think we will not be ashamed to come back to parties and ask [them] to submit different names so this matter can start."

Modise is expected to issue a statement once the three-member panel, one of whom may be a judge, has been appointed.

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