South African legislators dismiss anti-corruption chief

South African lawmakers voted Monday to remove the country’s anti-corruption chief, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who was recently found guilty of misconduct and incompetence.

A total of 318 members of parliament voted in favor of Mkhwebane’s removal while 43 were against her dismissal.

“Advocate B. Mkhwebane is accordingly removed from the office of the Public Protector,” National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said after announcing the vote.

Mkhwebane is the first public protector to be removed from office since South Africa became a democracy in 1994.

President Cyril Ramaphosa suspended Mkhwebane in June last year after she was accused of being politically biased in her investigations.

An impeachment process last month found Mkhwebane guilty of misconduct and incompetence and recommended her removal.

Mkhwebane was appointed by Ramaphosa’s predecessor, Jacob Zuma, in 2016 and her tenure was due to end on Oct. 14, where she would have qualified for a gratuity of 10 million rand ($530,000).

Mkhwebane’s term in office was marred by several controversies, including allegations that she targeted certain politicians in her investigations.

In South Africa, the Public Protector’s Office is a body independent from the government or political parties.

The Public Protector investigates claims of abuse of power, corruption and inappropriate conduct by officials.

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