Mkhwebane: Ramaphosa, DA approached ConCourt to keep me off Phala Phala probe

mkhwebane ramaphosa da approached concourt to keep me off phala phala probe

JOHANNESBURG – Suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is adamant President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Democratic Alliance (DA) raced to the Constitutional Court with an appeal against the Western Cape High Court’s September order setting aside her suspension to keep her off the Phala Phala investigation.

Mkhwebane’s fight to reverse her suspension continued in the apex court on Thursday.

The court is hearing an appeal from the DA and Ramaphosa against the High Court’s order.

While she was suspended as a result of the impeachment proceedings she’s currently facing in Parliament, the High Court found the move was “tainted by bias” on the president’s part, coming just days after Mkhwebane sent him questions on Phala Phala.

Ramaphosa and the DA’s position is that the High Court’s order relates to the constitutionality of conduct of the president and, as a result, must now be confirmed by the country’s apex court.

The Public Protector disagreed. Her counsel, Dali Mpofu, argued that the president’s conduct in this case was not constitutionally invalid, but just invalid.

He faced a grilling from Justice Owen Rogers who questioned how an order of invalidity could not be one of constitutional invalidity.

But Mpofu was adamant the stance adopted by the opposition was “contrived by the DA after the fact and as a stratagem to resuspend the Public Protector”.

“It was some ‘clever lawyering’ that after the fact, once they lost the case, then they felt, as Mr Bishop quite candidly admitted on the stand, that we had to do something to make sure she does not go back to work,” Mpofu said.

He’s further argued that this has been done to maintain her suspension so that she could not continue with her investigations into Ramaphosa.

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