Cape Town - The ANC caucus in Parliament agreed to support the process to set up an inquiry to deal with the removal of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
On Saturday ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina said the caucus discussed the matter at length.
She said it was not about the merits on the removal of Mkhwebane, but the other process of whether to set up an inquiry.
“At this stage, the ANC caucus is very clear, it will be premature to conclude whether there will be voting for retention or against the removal of the public protector,” said Majodina.
The statement from Majodina comes after ANC members have publicly said they would not support a motion from the official opposition to remove Mkhwebane.
On Tuesday Parliament will discuss the process to set up an inquiry.
The inquiry comes after a panel of experts led by retired Constitutional Court Justice Bess Nkabinde and comprising advocates Dumisa Ntsebeza SC and Johan de Waal SC found that Mkhwebane had a case to answer.
Majodina said the ANC caucus discussed the matter.
“In the case of the public protector, the Independent Panel of Judges conducted a preliminary inquiry and reported on March 1, 2021, recommending that there was prima facie evidence to show that the public protector had committed misconduct, was incapacitated or was incompetent,” said Majodina.
“In terms of the Rules of the National Assembly, it is the National Assembly which has to decide to endorse or reject the Independent Panel’s recommendations.
“If the NA agrees, the matter is then referred to a special Ad-hoc committee for the purposes of an enquiry,” she said..
“Therefore, the National Assembly will be seized with a process and all that will be required at this stage is to agree on whether to proceed with the enquiry or not.
“We are not dealing with the merits of the case, whether someone should be removed or not,” she said.
“In line with how the ANC caucus deals with important matters, on March 11, 2021 caucus held an extensive discussion on the matter and resolved to support the process and acknowledged that we are in a process and are not at this point dealing with the merits or demerits of the case and therefore questions of voting cannot arise at this stage,” said Majodina.
“Caucus affirmed the Rules of the National Assembly and how they regulate what the Speaker can and cannot do in cases of heads of Chapter Nine institutions.
“Caucus further affirmed that only the chief whip can pronounce on this matter on behalf of caucus and no individual is authorised to address the media on such matters,” said Majodina.
“It has come to the attention of caucus that there is considerable misunderstanding surrounding the matter of the Independent Panel Report on the public protector.
“The committee on Section 194 will conduct an inquiry for fairness and clarity, which will afford the public protector an opportunity to clear her name and respond to the wide allegations attributed by DA motion, ” she said
“At this stage, the ANC caucus is very clear, it will be premature to conclude whether there will be voting for retention or against the removal of the public protector,” she said.