Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, has obtained an interdict against Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to prevent her from acting against the Premier’s controversial colonialist Tweets.
In a report issued last month, titled “Report on an investigation into allegations of breach of the provisions of the Executive Ethics Code by the Premier of Western Cape Provincial Government”, Mkhwebane directed that Speaker of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature, Sharna Fernandez, should take action against Zille within 30 days.
However, Zille opposed this, saying that she would later approach the court for a review to set aside Mkhwebane’s report.
Zille requested the interdict to prolong the remedial action, as the outcome of the review is still pending.
On Tuesday, Fernandez said that she would not oppose the court proceedings. Mkhwebane agreed that she would abide by the decision of the court.
Judge Norman Davis granted the decision despite not hearing any legal arguments. However, he had read through the court papers.
No date has yet been set for the hearing of the Premier’s application to overturn Mkhwebane’s report.
The Public Protector found that Zille’s colonialist Tweets violated sections of the Executive Ethics, as well as the Constitution. She requested that the speaker table the report before the Western Cape Legislature by 23 July.
“The interdict is necessary to prevent prejudice to my office by the Provincial Legislature’s implementation of the remedial action which I contend is unlawful…The open-endedness of this remedial action exacerbates the potential prejudice to me – it is unknown and unpredictable as to what sanction the Provincial Legislature may impose in response to the remedial action,” Zille said to IOL.
Zille said that she realised that her Tweets had been misunderstood and had caused offense.