Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the Public Protector, has been suspended pending the outcome of her response to Acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka's actions. Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who had filed papers to halt the impeachment proceedings against her, has withdrawn those documents, as certified by the court. According to the report, Acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka has publicly distanced herself from her suspended boss's attempt to stop her impeachment in the Western Cape High Court.
In a letter sent to the High Court registrar on Wednesday, Acting Public Protector Thuli Madonsela stated that she had not authorized or instructed Seanago Attorneys to make a delivery of Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane's motion for leave to appeal.
Kholeka, Interim Public Protector
After the Cape Town High Court denied Mkhwebane's request for an interdict to halt the impeachment proceedings in parliament on Monday, her lawyers, Seanago, reportedly applied for leave to appeal the decision.
The Acting Public Protector issued a statement to the media in which he or she claimed that Seanago Attorneys and counsels did not have official authorization to represent the Public Protector of the country. Advocate Dali Mpofu has been in charge of the legal team. The Public Protector who has been suspended can pursue this matter in her own capacity, according to the Acting Public Protector.
The Acting Public Protector's choice to not pick up where the Public Protector who was suspended had left off is puzzling. Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane's withdrawal of her application raises more concerns than it does answers.
All indications are that the Acting Public Protector did this to ensure her continued tenure in the role. There will be many who challenge Acting Public Protector Nomvula Mokonyane's decision to suspend Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Is she trying to advance the office's agenda with this move? Maybe someone else stands to gain from the withdrawal. To what extent will this affect Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane?
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