Mkhwebane’s lawyer demands secret ballot vote on impeachment report against her

Legal representative for Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Advocate Dali Mpofu, says he will call for the voting on the impeachment report against her to be by secret ballot.

Presenting his opening remarks on the first day of the impeachment hearings, Mpofu admonishes Parliament for what he said were attempts to violate Mkhwebane’s constitutional rights.

He has also called those who accused Mkhwebane of applying Stalingrad tactics to avoid facing the impeachment hearings of hating the Constitution. He outlines a number of court judgments that, he argued, proved that his client was right, including the one that allowed him to address the committee.

Lawyers of the suspended Public Protector have told lawmakers that there must first be a Parliamentary Committee that will determine grounds for her impeachment.

Parliament has finally started its enquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office. This follows a motion tabled by the DA two years ago.

An independent panel of experts found that Mkhwebane had a prima facie case to answer on incompetence and misconduct charges.

The impeachment had been delayed by legal challenges and the formulation of rules to remove the head of a Chapter nine institution.

Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane reflects on her suspension:

Today, the enquiry heard opening statements from evidence leader, advocate Nasreen Bawa and Mkwebwane’s legal counsel, advocate Dali Mpofu.

The evidence leader maintains that Mkhwebane must answer to eight adverse judgements questioning her conduct.

Advocate Bawa says, “Demonstrated irrationality, forensic weakness, incoherence, confusion and misunderstanding of the applicable contractual constitutional and administrative law principles and that she does not understand her constitutional duties to be impartial and fulfil her functions without fear, favour or prejudice. The final charge is misconduct and incompetence.”

Advocate Dali Mpofu says: “Our participation is under protest because of some of the issues I’m going to highlight which are called major constitutional violations but we are here we are going to participate nevertheless because we represent a law-abiding citizen and public protector.”

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