The Helen Suzman Foundation is the latest organisation to pile pressure on Parliament to act against under fire Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
In a letter to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise on Friday, the foundation wrote: “Based on a number of judicial findings, it is plain that Busisiwe Mkhwebane has time and again fallen far short to the constitutional requirements to hold the office of the Public Protector.”
The DA, the SA Communist Party, Cope, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse and Accountability Now have all demanded that Parliament should act on the Public Protector whose conduct has come under increased scrutiny following a scathing Constitutional Court ruling on her findings and report in the Reserve Bank and Absa’s apartheid-era debt.
In a letter by law firm Webber Wentzel on its behalf, the foundation called on Parliament to vote Mkhwebane out from her office, saying she is no longer fit to hold the office of the Public Protector.
The foundation used the recent scathing Constitutional Court judgment, in which the judges slammed her for lying under oath, for failing to failing to disclose her meetings with former president Jacob Zuma and former state security minister David Mahlobo and for being biased in her investigation. Mkhwebane was also ordered to pay punitive costs.
The foundation said that the damning findings against Mkhwebane “all strike at her integrity, character, competence and independence”.
“Given the importance of the office she holds, the immense power vested in the office, and the public trust reposed in the office, each day that Ms Mkhwebane remains in office is damaging to the integrity of the office.
“We thus call on the Speaker and the National Assembly to take heed of the accumulated adverse judicial findings against the Public Protector and to act swiftly and definitively in removing her from office as the Public Protector.”
The foundation said Mkhwebane, when asked to, had failed to explain herself in an intelligent manner.
“Where she did provide some explanations, she did so in a manner described as woefully late but also unintelligibly and nonsensical,” read the letter.
“We thus call on the Speaker and the National Assembly to take heed of the accumulated adverse judicial findings against the public protector and to act swiftly and definitively in removing her from office as the Public Protector.”
The foundation asked Modise to make a decision before September as not acting expeditiously to remove the Public Protector had the potential to do more damage to the office she holds.