Strip-club boss Andrew Phillips might have dealt a devastating first blow to Willie Hofmeyr’s bid to come the country’s next public protector.

Seen as a strong contender for the post, Hofmeyr is not “fit and proper” for the job, was “high-handed” while in charge of the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and is “disrespectful of the Constitution”, Phillips said.

These possibly damaging claims form part of a seven-page objection Phillips has submitted to the parliamentary ad hoc committee managing the process to appoint Thuli Madonsela’s successor.

Some may view this as part of a personal crusade by Phillips, one-time owner of The Ranch and Titty Twister clubs, but there are concerns that others may try to use it to influence the final names to be submitted to President Jacob Zuma.

The timing of Phillips’s missive has been questioned in view of how polit- icised the appointment has become, especially after recent court judgments, such as in the Nkandla case.

Asked whether he was doing this at the behest of politicians, Phillips said: “I do nobody’s bidding. My protest is one of principle.