Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s recent proposal calling for a change to the mandate of the central bank has generated much controversy among South Africans with many citizens suggesting she is incompetent for the job and should therefore resign.
We could recall opposition parties like the Economic Freedom Fighters EFF and the Democratic Alliance and even a faction of the ANC calling for Mkhwebane ‘s immediate resignation citing abuse of her remedial actions.
This call follows her recent responding affidavit to the court where she admitted that she was wrong on her remedial action regarding a constitutional amendment challenged by the reserved bank.
Mkhwebane said on Monday she would not oppose the South African Reserve Bank’s review application following her report in which she called for the constitutional mandate of the bank to be changed.
The issue worsened on Monday when Mkhwebane’s spokesperson Cleopatra Mosana tried to dismiss public Protector’s admission by saying that she got the law right on Reserve Bank but just made a “typo”
Mosana went further to say that the mistakes were made in the process of writing up the remedial action regarding changes to the Constitution on the role of the Reserve Bank.
Reacting to this, citizens condemned her “stupidity” saying it reveals that she is either incompetent or captured this week,
The EFF at the time said Mkhwebane should know that the remedial actions of the Public Protector are binding. “Had no one challenged her dangerous remedial action regarding constitutional amendment, she would have basically coerced the whole country into a wrong direction.”
However, A UCT public law lecturer Cathy Powell said though Mkhwebane’s legal crafting error against Reserve Bank suggests incompetence or a conspiracy, plans to have her removed may not be as easy as everyone thinks.
In an interview with CapeTalk’s Africa Melane, Powell said plans to legally unseat Mkhwebane as Public Protector is unlikely to take place but if a process was to take place, the following constitutional guild must be followed:
- Her removal must be on the basis of misconduct, incapacity and incompetence.
- There should be a recommendation by a committee of the National Assembly,
- A two-third majority of MPs voting for her removal
“The office of the Public Protector is solidly protected. Hence, if the ruling party is not prepared to get rid of her, she is going nowhere” Powell said, adding that PP’s protection is similar -though not directly similar- to the protection the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has.
Speaking further, the UCT public law lecturer Cathy Powell said though Advocate Thuli Madonsela’s shoes might be too big for Mkhwebane to wear in terms of effective performance, she didn’t make any attempt to maintain the virtue of her predecessor.
“I think she’s done a lot of damage to the office of the Public Protector and thus she has lost the public confidence… for the next six years the people will have to look somewhere else for their constitutional protection”
She concluded by saying that the Public Protector Mkhwebane is demonstrating some level of incompetency and that it is left for the National Assembly to institute a process to have her removed.