PARLIAMENT’s ad hoc committee tasked with selecting a new public protector to take over the Chapter Nine institution from Thuli Madonsela will release the names of all 72 candidates nominated for the post.
Committee chairwoman Makhosi Khoza said she would release the names of those who have been nominated on Tuesday.
She said nominees had been informed that they needed to submit their curriculum vitae‚ which would be subject to public scrutiny.
“My staff is busy processing all nominations. The list will advise of who has been nominated and those who have applied‚” Khoza said.
Once the names had been announced‚ the committee would give the public an opportunity to submit comments and objections.
“The public needs to disclose their names (when commenting or objecting) and the reason for their objections. We are not going to entertain objections without the disclosure of a reason‚” Khoza said.
Interviews will be held in August and the committee said it would table its preferred candidate to the National Assembly by August 31.
The nominees are reported to include ANC MP Loyiso Mpumlwana and EFF national chairman Dali Mpofu. Neither of the two high-profile politicians, both of whom are advocates, could be reached for comment. Other nominees include Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai, Willie Hofmeyr and Kevin Malunga, the deputy public protector.
Open Democracy Advice Centre’s Alison Tilley said that while it was encouraging to see a transparent appointment process, the public protector’s independence could not be questionable. “In terms of sitting members of Parliament, I think the public protector must be independent as a requirement for the position.
“But to come in as someone holding a position in or for a political party, the perception is that their independence could be questionable,” Tilley said.
It was also encouraging, she said, to learn about the nomination of Judge Desai, as judges would be subject to the scrutiny of the ad hoc committee and the public through their past decisions in court cases.
“Judges from the high courts make good candidates for a number of reasons, because you have a track record. You will have judgments, which will make it clear to the country whether you are an appropriate candidate or not,” she said.
Madonsela gained international admiration when she guided the office of the public protector through financial constraints and brazen political pressure to deliver damning reports on matters including Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s fitness for his position of South African Broadcasting Corporation chief operating officer and public money spent on nonsecurity upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s home.
Corruption Watch has embarked on a campaign to encourage the public to participate in the appointment process.