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Up for scrutiny – D-day for public to comment on CVs of Public Protector candidates

Up for scrutiny – D-day for public to comment on CVs of Public Protector candidates
Illustrative image | sources: The process has begun to appoint a new public protector, with suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's term ending in October. (Photo:Netwerk24 story Christiaan du Plessis/Felix Dlangamandla) / Parliament (Photo: Leila Dougan)

At least 70 candidates applied or were nominated for the crucial role of Public Protector, an office tasked with defending democracy and the rights of citizens. Only 38 have met the requirements to move forward in the selection process. These CVs have been made available on Parliament’s website. If members of the public have any comments about the candidates, they have until today – Friday, 21 July – to act.

The parliamentary committee responsible for nominating a suitable candidate for the position of Public Protector is set to begin the shortlisting process next week, on 26 July. 

The public have until Friday, 21 July to scrutinise the CVs of initial candidates to test their suitability based on the requirements prescribed in legislation and whether they are fit and proper to hold such a position.

Selected candidates will then undergo interviews scheduled between 21 and 25 August. The committee must report to the National Assembly by 31 August with the nomination of a candidate who will take over from the suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, whose term ends on 12 October 2023.

Read more in Daily Maverick: While Mkhwebane’s spell in office draws to a close one way or another, search begins for her successor

In the meantime, the Section 194 inquiry into Mkhwebane’s fitness for office might conclude on 28 July after she missed yet another deadline imposed by the committee, after she repeatedly appeared before it without legal representation, according to a report.

Read more in Daily Maverick: President Mkhwebane – Suspended public protector hints at possible post-inquiry career in politics

Earlier this month, the committee revealed that it had received 53 nominations and 17 applications for potential candidates for the Public Protector position. However, 32 nominations were disqualified during the initial screening phase due to noncompliance with the nomination requirements as outlined in the advert, according to ANC’s Cyril Xaba, the committee chairperson.

Criteria

A candidate must be a South African citizen and a fit and proper person for the role. The other criteria are that the candidate:

  • Is a Judge of a high court;
  • or is admitted as an advocate or an attorney and has, for a cumulative period of at least 10 years after having been so admitted, practised as an advocate or an attorney;
  • Or is qualified to be admitted as an advocate or an attorney and has, for a cumulative period of at least 10 years after having so qualified, lectured in law at a university;
  • Or has specialised knowledge of or experience, for a cumulative period of at least 10 years, in the administration of justice, public administration or public finance;
  • Or has, for a cumulative period of at least 10 years, been a member of Parliament;
  • Or has acquired any combination of experience mentioned above for a cumulative period of at least 10 years.

In the past month [since 12 June 2023] the public has been encouraged to comment on the suitability of the candidates based on the prescribed requirements in the legislation.

After public comment the committee will follow a thorough due process to validate their qualifications and address any objections.

Among the many who met the specified requirements are: Kholeka Gcaleka, who has been in charge of the Public Protector’s office since of Mkhwebane was suspended; Advocate Ike Khumalo, who was charged with six counts of inciting violence by allegedly stoking protests on social media in July 2021;  and the former Gauteng head of the Human Rights Commission, Buang Jones. 

Here are the CVs of the candidates who have met the requirements:

  1. Ms N Beauchamp
  2. Adv NK Gcaleka
  3. Mr B Jones
  4. Adv O Josie
  5. Mr R Khoza
  6. Adv IT Khumalo
  7. Ms ENB Khwinana
  8. Ms JK Ledwaba
  9. Mr R Ledwaba
  10. Adv NM Litabe
  11. Ms M Lukhaimane
  12. Adv FT Maleka
  13. Ms NC Mampuru
  14. Adv S Mancotywa
  15. Mr LB Maphelela
  16. Adv L Marais
  17. Adv N Mbangeni
  18. Ms TC Mbhansa
  19. Adv HHS Mekwa
  20. Prof B Mmusinyane
  21. Ms M Mohlala-Mulaudzi
  22. Mr OTD Mokoto
  23. Adv TJ Moqechane
  24. Ms EK Mthimkhulu
  25. Ms T Mxenge
  26. Mr MM Ncongwane
  27. Ms ZNSO Nhlanyisa
  28. Adv KTT Ntsewa
  29. Ms T Semane
  30. Adv Z Taba
  31. Adv S Tebeile
  32. Mr I Tefanis
  33. Adv MI Thenga
  34. Adv TS Thipanyane
  35. Adv ML Tsineng
  36. Mr HK Tswago
  37. Mr M Vilakazi
  38. Adv S Zimema

What is a Public Protector and what powers do they have?

The Public Protector is a Chapter 9 institution, established in terms of the Constitution to act independently in supporting and strengthening constitutional democracy. According to section 182 of the Constitution, among other things the Public Protector is established to:

  • Ensure the government’s accountability and provide remedies for maladministration and abuse of authority; and
  • The Public Protector is empowered to investigate, report on and take appropriate remedial action for a wide range of wrongdoings in the public administration. DM
Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Steve Davidson says:

    Just FFS get an honest one this time! We don’t need another 7 years of hell like we did with the last one!

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, based on the disgraceful corruption etc of said last one, can’t we give the new one a year or so’s trial (sic) period just to try to make sure s/he is OK?

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    “Or has, for a cumulative period of at least 10 years, been a member of Parliament;”

    In order to achieve the above, he/she could be a perfect nobody. It is certainly not a certification of knowledge, morals or least of all legal qualification.

  • Gerrie Pretorius says:

    The only requirement should be: If you have ever in any way been in touch with any anc member or supporter in any way, you will NOT be appointed.

  • Heinrich Holt says:

    I am so dissappointed to see that Dali Dude did not make the list.

  • Henry Henry says:

    A perusal of the CVs seems to reveal that some 30 nincompoohs applied?

    Really! Can’t the country identify some serious contenders with solid backgrounds? These are all job hoppers butterflying from one position to the other.
    What is needed is a person with real practical experience for several years in fact finding, cross examination, logic, sifting of evidence and determination of probabilities.
    Not job hopping.

  • Susan Buekes says:

    With what criteria did the current incumbent comply?

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