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President Ramaphosa suspends Public Protector Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has, in accordance with section 194 (3)(a) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, decided to suspend Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane from the office of the Public Protector effective 9 June 2022.

Section 194(3) (a) of the Constitution provides that the President may suspend the Public Protector (or any member of a Chapter 9 institution) “at any time after the start of proceedings by a committee of the National Assembly for [their] removal”.

Advocate Mkhwebane will remain suspended until the section 194 process in the National Assembly has been completed. 

President Ramaphosa has fulfilled his obligation to provide Advocate Mkhwebane a fair hearing by according her sufficient time and opportunity to make submissions. 

In considering each element of the Public Protector’s submissions carefully, the President has taken into account the nature of the Public Protector’s office and his own Constitutional obligations.

Section 2A (7) of the Public Protector Act states that whenever the Public Protector is, for any reason unable to perform the functions of his or her office, or while the appointment of a person to the office of Public Protector is pending, the Deputy Public Protector shall perform such functions. 

The absence of Advocate Mkhwebane from office will therefore not impede the progress of any investigations that are pending or underway.  

President Ramaphosa and Advocate Mkhwebane are both obligated to act in the best interest of the country, in compliance with the Constitution and mindful of the need to protect all Constitutional institutions. The President’s decision to suspend Advocate Mkhwebane is the best manner to fulfill these obligations.

Media enquiries: Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson to the President – 082 835 6315

Issued by: The Presidency