Mkhwebane questions appointment of judge to handle Parly probe into her PP role

Mkhwebane questions appointment of judge to handle Parly probe into her PP role

CAPE TOWN - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's fight to stop a parliamentary inquiry into her fitness to hold office resumed in the Western Cape High Court on Tuesday.

She's appealing an earlier court ruling that dismissed her application to interdict a decision by the National Assembly Speaker, who's given the process the green light.

Mkhwebane is also challenging the constitutionality of the rules that Parliament is relying on to investigate her.

In the October judgment, the High Court found that the national legislature had a right to initiate a process to remove Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

But Mkhwebane said in court papers that if the process continued before her challenge of the constitutionality of the rules underlying the inquiry was finalised, she faced the prospect of being suspended.

She said that this might happen even if the rules were found to be unconstitutional.

Dali Mpofu, who's representing the Public Protector, has questioned Parliament’s appointment of the judge to head the inquiry.

"The following day, once the impeachment is over, that judge sits in judgement of another political party or of the one that nominated them. Then litigants are going to say: 'How can this person who was nominated by this very party play the role?' That's what's wrong with the judicial function not separated from the legislative function."

The court has reserved judgment.

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