Mkhwebane: Modise violated my rights with public statement on my impeachment

In a legal fight against Parliament and attempts to remove her, Mkhwebane argues Modise’s conduct in the impeachment process should be set aside.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Monday said National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise violated her constitutional rights when she made a public statement about her impeachment inquiry.

In a legal fight against Parliament and attempts to remove her, Mkhwebane argues Modise’s conduct in the impeachment process should be set aside.

Mkhwebane has made the submission in the Western Cape High Court and wants it to declare National Assembly rules used to impeach her unconstitutional and invalid.

She said her right to dignity and privacy were violated when Modise issued a statement about her pending impeachment inquiry.

In court papers, she asks for a declaratory order on the constitutionality or otherwise of the conduct of the speaker and to some extent the Democratic Alliance.

Mkhwebane’s counsel Advocate Dali Mpofu said: “Are the rules, or is this rule, or that rule, or that rule consistent with the Constitution. When we are asking for the review relief; we’re asking the same question, but differently, we’re now saying is that decision or that conduct of the speaker in the particular case, consistent with the Constitution?”

Mpofu has also questioned how the rules can be applied retrospectively when the alleged offence happened before they were passed by the National Assembly.

“The rule of law is that generally speaking, we cannot be punished for something that happened before that law existed.”

The case continues with submissions from opposition parties.

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