The Western Cape High Court on Friday dismissed suspended public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s request for a temporary interdict to halt the impeachment proceedings against her in Parliament and prevent her suspension.
A unanimous verdict of an entire Chamber, on behalf of “the Court”, the Public Protector, who is constitutionally accountable to Parliament, said: “We must emphasize that there is a strong public interest in the continuation of the impeachment proceedings.”
“Logically, there are serious prejudices against the separation of powers and the public interest if impeachment proceedings are not completed in a timely manner and without undue delay.”
Indictments are due to begin July 11.
The Verdict comes a day after President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended Mkhwebane with immediate effect.
Before verdict ng, Judge Nathan Erasmus said the court was aware of these developments had happened “last night o late afternoon,” but said the ruling was based on the facts available to the court at the time the case was heard and pending a change to the application notice had been available after the hearing.
At Mkhwebane’s request, to avoid her suspension, the court ruled that Mkhwebane would continue to receive her salary and benefits and could still review the decision if the President decided to to suspend them. The balance of expediency did not work in Mkhwebane’s favour: “The longer Counsel Mkhwebane occupies the applicant’s office while he faces serious charges, the more public confidence in that office will be undermined.”
The court said , it had been asked to consider a motion aimed at “preventing state organs from exercising powers expressly conferred on them by the Constitution”. Cases. This case was “by no means” one of those cases.
The court ordered Mkhwebane to pay part of the legal costs in her personal capacity.
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