South Africans will know by the end of Tuesday who will steer the formal inquiry into the fitness of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to hold public office.

The 36-member committee for the Section 194 inquiry will hold its first meeting since its reconstituted membership was announced in June.

According to Parliament’s schedule of meetings, the committee will elect the chairperson.

It is also expected that it will discuss its programme on how to handle the impeachment proceedings.

The ANC is spoilt for choice on whom to nominate to become the chairperson of the committee.

Deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude is likely to get the nod considering her seniority in the parliamentary caucus, but there are chairpersons of committees such as Mondli Gungubele, Philly Mapulane, Sahlulele Luzipo, Joemat-Pettersson and Qubudile Dyantyi.

The impeachment committee will meet at a time when the Western Cape High Court has yet to deliver judgments to two applications brought by Mkhwebane and civil society group Democracy in Action (DiA)

In the separate applications, which were heard early last month, Mkhwebane and the DiA want the rules to impeach her to be found unlawful, unconstitutional, and null and void.

Despite the judgments being reserved, National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise went ahead and announced the reconstituted committee on June 21.

Modise decided to increase the number of members who will serve on the committee from 26 to 36 after UDM leader Bantu Holomisa made a request that all parties should have equal voting status.

Holomisa had stated that it was important that the individual party positions and views were reflected in all the decision-making processes of Parliament, starting with the committee process.

In terms of the make-up of the committee, all political parties with representation in Parliament will serve on the committee, except the ATM, which declined to be included.

The committee will consist of 19 ANC MPs, four DA MPs, two EFF MPs, and one MP each from the IFP, ACDP, NFP, Freedom Front Plus, UDM, GOOD, AIC, Cope, PAC and Al Jama-ah.

Modise has since referred relevant documents to the committee for its consideration. One of these included the motion by DA chief whip Natasha Mazzone calling for institution of an inquiry into the removal of Mkhwebane.

Another document was the report and recommendations of the independent panel that conducted a preliminary assessment to determine whether there was prima facieevidence to show that the Mkhwebane committed misconduct or was incompetent on the grounds advanced in the motion and the documents before the panel.

The referral also included the resolution of the National Assembly that was taken on March 16 to approve the recommendations of the panel and establish a committee.

The panel – consisting of Justice Bess Nkabinde as chairperson and Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza and Advocate Johan de Waal – found that Mkhwebane has a case to answer.

Editor@tech-talk.co.za

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