JOHANNESBURG. – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa yesterday suspended Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane from the office of the Public Protector.
Mkhwebane was suspended effective from yesterday.
“Section 194(3) (a) of the Constitution provides that the President may suspend the Public Protector (or any member of a Chapter 9 institution) at any time after the start of proceedings by a committee of the National Assembly for [their] removal”.
“Advocate Mkhwebane will remain suspended until the section 194 process in the National Assembly has been completed’,” Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said.
The deputy public protector will perform the functions of the office in her place.
Mkhwebane on Monday confirmed she will investigate President Cyril Ramaphosa for allegedly breaching the executive code of ethics relating to criminal activities at his farm.
Mkhwebane has used this opportunity to address what she called unfair criticism over her investigations concerning the Executive Members Ethics Act.
She claimed some have accused her of getting involved in party politics and targeting certain members of the executive.
Public protector’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said Mkhwebane’s office was the only institution legally empowered to enforce the executive code of ethics.
“On receipt of such a complaint, the public protector must investigate and must submit a report on the alleged breach of the executive code of ethics within 30 days of the complaint to the president if the complaint was against a member of cabinet, a premier or a deputy minister.”
Segwale said in this instance, the public protector would have to improvise on who would receive her report.
“Due to the silence of the Executive Members Ethics Act when it comes to the appropriate recipient of the report in case the complaint is against the president, the public protector has previously had to improvise and send it to the speaker of the National Assembly.”
Last week, former spy boss Arthur Fraser lodged a criminal complaint against the president, accusing him of money laundering and other charges.
Meanwhile, Mr Ramaphosa’s presidency budget speech descended into chaos yesterday as EFF MPs disrupted proceedings, saying that a criminal should not be allowed to address them.
All the EFF MPs who were present at the National Assembly were thrown out of the chamber for repeatedly raising the same points of order. – News24.com