Parliament on Friday jumped the last hurdle that was preventing it from starting the process of removing Busisiwe Mkhwebane as Public Protector.
The impeachment process stalled last year after Mkhwebane mounted legal challenges in the high court over the inclusion of a judge on the panel to decide her fitness for the job and denial of legal representation.
The high court in Cape Town agreed with her objection to having a judge sitting on the panel to impeach her. The court also said Mkhwebane should be afforded the right to legal representation.
However, the National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the Democratic Alliance, and others appealed the high court decision at the Constitutional Court.
On Friday the Constitutional Court ruled the appointment of a judge to the independent panel considering whether there is prima facie evidence for the removal of a Chapter 9 institution officer-bearer does not offend the doctrine of separation of powers.
That means the National Assembly’s impeachment proceedings against Mkhwebane can now proceed.
Mkhwebane faces impeachment on grounds of alleged misconduct and incompetence, which if proven will lead to her removal from the position of the public protector.