The country’s highest court has adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s suspension upheld on Thursday.
This morning the Constitutional Court found pres. Cyril Ramaphosa acted neither irrationally nor rashly when he suspended Mkhwebane as Public Protector (OB) in June last year.
The judgment follows after the High Court in Cape Town found in September last year that Ramaphosa’s decision to suspend Mkhwebane was unlawful and invalid. Ramaphosa and the DA then turned to the Constitutional Court to appeal against the decision.
More than eight months later, the Constitutional Court has now unanimously set this ruling aside.
Deputy Chief Justice Mandisa Maya said during an online session that Ramaphosa had reason to suspend Mkhwebane as it gave her a chance to focus on her defense during the investigation by Parliament’s Article 194 Committee, as well as protecting the integrity of her office .
The DA welcomed the ruling.
“This will protect the office of the Public Protector while the committee completes its work,” says Adv. Glynnis Breytenbach, the DA’s spokesperson on justice and constitutional development.
However, the African Transformation Movement (ATM) strongly rejected the ruling. Last month, the party still vomited bile over the Constitutional Court’s alleged delay in the ruling.
“Although we are not surprised by this ruling, given the history of unfair and bizarre rulings when advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane comes before the Supreme Court, we firmly believe that this ruling does not reflect the principles of justice and impartiality,” says Zama Ntshona, spokesperson of the ATM.
“The ATM remains steadfast in the belief that the president’s decision to appoint adv. To suspend Mkhwebane was retaliatory and irrational in nature and therefore illegal. We struggle to understand how the court came to a different conclusion.”
The ATM firmly believes that Mkhwebane was suspended simply because she wanted to launch an investigation against Ramaphosa.
“In the past, the courts have prohibited a president from making certain appointments due to a conflict of interest. Today, however, we are witnessing a situation where presidents can suspend individuals who are actively investigating him.
“The Constitutional Court has once again bent over backwards to find a ruling that favors the president… Today is a dark day for the rule of law in this country.”
— Presidency | South Africa ???????? (@PresidencyZA) July 13, 2023