- Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has launched an urgent application to ensure that the Western Cape High Court order invalidating her suspension comes into effect.
- The Western Cape High Court on Friday declared her suspension by President Cyril Ramaphosa invalid.
- Shortly after the judgment was handed down, the DA applied to appeal against the ruling.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has launched an urgent application to ensure that the Western Cape High Court order invalidating her suspension comes into effect, regardless of any appeals that may be launched against it.
On Friday, a full bench of the High Court ruled that Ramaphosa’s decision to suspend Mkhwebane – after she sent him questions about the Phala-Phala break-in – was invalid and “improper”.
The day after Mkhwebane announced her Phala-Phala investigation, Ramaphosa suspended her. He had asked her to provide reasons why she should not be suspended in March.
While the High Court appeared unconvinced by the bulk of Mkhwebane’s challenges to the impeachment process against her, it found that, “… from the objective facts, the decision of [Mkhwebane] to investigate the President and to put 31 questions to him, prompted the President not to wait a day more and to immediately suspend her.
“Clearly, when the events that unfolded between 7 – 10 June 2022, discussed above, are objectively examined, it is irresistible to conclude that the decision of the President was improper.”
Lawyers for the Democratic Alliance had stressed to Mkhwebane’s lawyers that 172(2)(a) of the Constitution requires that this order must be confirmed by the apex court before it came into effect.
Mkhwebane’s lawyers do not share that view. But the DA’s immediate appeal against the ruling suspended the invalidation of her suspension.
Mkhwebane has now asked the Western Cape High Court to enforce that order despite any appeals launched against it. She argues that there, “… can be no doubting the fact that my entire career and occupational welfare is at stake”.
She further accuses the DA of trying to prevent her, “… from resuming my duties, by hook or by crook and any means necessary.
“Having been away for three months it is imperative that I hit the ground running and get all the necessary briefings as soon as possible.”