EDITORIAL | Mkhwebane’s removal is long overdue. SA deserves better
Public protector may be bestowed dubious honour as SA’s first head of a Chapter 9 institution to get impeached
The decision by a panel appointed by parliament to investigate public protector’s Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s competence has arrived at a predictable but welcome conclusion. Parliament should start a process to remove her.
At the heart of this long and arduous battle, as a result of which our democracy is poorer, is the question whether Mkhwebane is possessed of the necessary will and wherewithal to discharge responsibilities bestowed on her and the office she leads by the constitution. The panel, led by Constitutional Court judge Bess Nkabinde, found prima facie evidence of her incompetence and misconduct. This includes her bold but misguided decisions that parliament must amend the constitution.
While the three-member panel, which included adv Dumisa Ntsebeza and adv Johan de Waal, found a plethora of errors of the same kind, incorrect interpretation of the law, selective use of information and failure to provide subjects of investigations a right to respond, it worryingly suggested she was unteachable: “This (repeated errors) suggests an inability to learn from mistakes by adopting a more careful approach.”..