After receiving nominations and applications, the ad hoc committee searching for a new public protector will now move to the next step in finding advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s successor.
The committee met on Wednesday after receiving nominations of suitable candidates for the public protector position.
The application cycle, which opened on 12 June, closed last week Friday.
The committee’s chairperson Cyril Xaba revealed on Wednesday that 53 nominations were received, while 17 applications were submitted.
However, only 21 of the nominations met the criteria.
Acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka, who received the most nominations, was on the list of candidates who have accepted nomination for the position.
Former South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) Gauteng head Buang Jones and Pension Funds adjudicator Muvhango Lukhaimane were also nominated.
Some notable names appeared on the list of 32 nominations which was declared invalid because the nominators failed to comply with the requirements as stipulated in the advertisement – including Justice Dunstan Mlambo, advocate Dali Mpofu, advocate Gerrie Nel, Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Glynis Breytenbach, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi.
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Mkhwebane and former public protector Thuli Madonsela were also on the invalid list.
Breytenbach asked if the candidates were aware of their nominations.
“I see there that somebody nominated me and I wasn’t aware of it,” she said.
ANC MP Qubudile Dyantyi then proposed that the committee reach out to the candidates who meet the criteria.
“We normally have this problem with departments that somebody applies and never knows, never receives acknowledgement or what is happening,” he said.
Meanwhile, GOOD MP Brett Herron said: “I think we must be careful by calling them invalid [because] they are persons who were nominated, but never accepted the nomination and there was an obligation on the nominator to obtained that acceptance of nomination.”
The committee later went ahead and set aside the list of 32 nominations that hadn’t met the criteria, with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) objection being recorded.
Watch the meeting below:
The committee later agreed to publish the names of the 38 remaining candidates for public comment until 21 July.
Members of the committee will meet again on 26 July to shortlist the candidates.
According to the programme, the screening process will take place from 1 to 18 August following the shortlisting of candidates.
Interviews will then be conducted between 21 and 25 August, after which the committee will deliberate on the interviewed candidates until the end of the month.
The candidate recommended by the committee will have to be approved by at least 60% of the National Assembly.
The selected name will be sent to President Cyril Ramaphosa for appointment.
Gcaleka under fire
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu has objected to Gcaleka succeeding Mkhwebane, whose seven-year non-renewable term ends in October.
“Kholeka will never be the public protector of South Africa! The nominations mean absolutely nothing.
“The decision to appoint a public protector needs [two thirds majority] of the National Assembly [and] Kholeka will never receive such! There are credible candidates in the final list – they will emerge!” he said on Twitter.
Gcaleka has come under fire for the findings in the public protector’s report relating to the Phala Phala scandal.
The report cleared Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing over the 2020 burglary at his farm in Limpopo.
Some opposition parties have indicated that they will take the report on review.