Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has gone on a "sabbatical leave to get some rest", her office said in a brief statement on Monday.
"Such a leave of absence is provided for in the terms and conditions applicable to the position of Public Protector," said spokesperson Oupa Segalwe.
He said the Deputy Public Protector, advocate Kholeka Gcaleka, will act as Public Protector while Mkhwebane is on leave - from 15 January until 31 March 2021.
Segalwe said the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, gave Mkhwebane the go-ahead.
Mkhwebane is facing a parliamentary impeachment inquiry, following a motion by the DA that is based, in large part, on the devastating judgments given against her in the Reserve Bank and Estina cases.
She has turned to the Constitutional Court in a last-ditch urgent bid to stop the potential impeachment process.
This after the Western Cape High Court dismissed her application to interdict National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise from pursuing the 17-stage process that could result in her facing an inquiry into her fitness to hold office.
The court later refused Mkhwebane's bid to appeal that decision.
Mkhwebane previously compared the rules to the "Sobukwe clause", the apartheid-era legislation used to arbitrarily extend the imprisonment of PAC leader Robert Sobukwe and insisted they were aimed solely "at the removal of Mkhwebane".