South Africa: Constitutional Court Dismisses Public Protector's Application for Leave to Appeal Dismissal of Bid to Interdict National Assembly From Processing Motion Calling for Her Dismissal

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Public Protector of South Africa (file photo).

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Parliament, Tuesday 16 March 2021 - Parliament welcomes the Constitutional Court's dismissal of the Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane's application for direct leave to appeal the decision of the Western Cape High Court to interdict the National Assembly (NA) from continuing to process the motion for her removal from office.

In its order, dated 10 March 2021, the Constitutional Court said it had concluded that the application for direct leave to appeal should be dismissed as no case had been made out for direct leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court.

This judgment follows an initial judgment from the Western Cape High Court in October 2020, dismissing the application to interdict the NA continuing to process the motion, and a subsequent bid, in November 2020, to the same court to appeal the Court's October judgment.

In its judgment of 9 October 2020, the Western Cape High Court said it was satisfied that the balance of convenience favoured the NA proceeding with carrying out its constitutional function in terms of section 194 of the Constitution and the NA rules.

The Court held that the impeachment process of an office bearer of a Chapter 9 institution is a serious mechanism for accountability of these office bearers under the Constitution and that a court should not lightly interfere with such processes.

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