People with 'sound legal backing' should serve on PP removal panel - DA

People with 'sound legal backing' should serve on PP removal panel - DA

CAPE TOWN - Political parties on Monday were in a race against time to find suitable individuals to serve on a parliamentary panel to look into the removal of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Last week, National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise approved a motion by the Democratic Alliance (DA) asking Parliament to initiate proceedings to remove Mkhwebane.

Mkhwebane would be charged under a new set of National Assembly rules which expand on the broad parameters in the Constitution, which provided for the removal of heads of Chapter 9 institutions.

DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone, who tabled the motion to remove Mkhwebane, said the party had a number of names it thought were suitable to serve on the panel. But, the party was not in a position to mention the names before it submitted them to the Speaker.

Mazzone said the party would be putting forward individuals who had a good understanding of the Constitution.

“We would like someone who understands the South African Constitution very well and has a sound legal backing. But, after grouping them [together] it doesn’t just have to be lawyers, people with good constitutional knowledge must prevail,” Mazzone said.

She acknowledged that previous attempts to remove Mkhwebane had fallen flat but she said the DA would be putting forward new information and arguments this time around.

“There are going to be new issues and Advocate Mkhwebane must realise that it’s not just the DA now that is questioning her; it’s Parliament as a whole.”

Mazzone said the names would be submitted to the Speaker by early next week.