The Ad Hoc Committee to Nominate a Person for Appointment as Public Protector (PP) today received a briefing on the results of the screening process of the eight candidates shortlisted for interviews for the PP position, which cleared all the candidates.
Committee Chairperson Mr Cyril Xaba said the committee was briefed on three reports – from the State Security Agency (SSA), the South African Police Services’ (SAPS) Crime Intelligence Unit and one from Human Resources (HR).
According to the report from SSA, no security concerns nor default judgements were picked up for all eight candidates. The SSA further verified that all candidates were South African citizens. The SAPS report stated that no illicit activities were noted for any of the candidates, whilst the HR report verified their qualifications in terms of the criteria.
In terms of the process to be followed tomorrow during the interviews, the committee resolved to restrict each of its 11 permanent members to eight minutes per candidate. This will include any follow-up engagements. It was agreed that permanent members representing smaller political parties on the committee will engage with alternate members to ensure that their contributions are included.
At the start of today’s meeting, Mr Xaba informed the committee of a complaint received from Mr Macbeth Ncongwane, a candidate who was nominated but not shortlisted by the committee, in which he questioned the “unfairness” of the process followed. Mr Xaba made it clear that the committee followed strict, predetermined criteria to shortlist candidates. Members of the committee were then granted an opportunity to indicate which of the candidates meeting the criteria they preferred for the shortlist.
“It was then on the basis of the amount of nominations that candidates received by Members in that committee meeting that the final eight candidates were selected and shortlisted. Those candidates that receive more nominations then made the shortlist for interviewing,” said Mr Xaba.
Mr Xaba said the committee had to look for a fit and proper person for the position but as the law does not describe the term fit and proper, the committee used case law, which offers a guide in this regard, specifying character, experience, knowledge and skills. He said the attached document gives insight into the attributes or qualities that guided the shortlisting process: https://tinyurl.com/mr48dvcp
The committee also resolved to finalise its internal process regarding the questions to be posed and the order in which Members will pose them in a closed meeting tomorrow morning, prior to the first interview.
The committee agreed to interview four candidates tomorrow and the remaining four candidates on Thursday. Candidates to be interviewed tomorrow are Adv Tseliso Thipanyane, Adv Kwena Tommy Ntsewa, Adv Oliver Josie and Adv Lynn Marais. The remaining candidates – Ms Muvhango Lukhaimane, Ms Johannah Ledwaba, Prof Boitumelo Mmusinyane and Adv Kholeka Gcaleka are to be interviewed on Thursday.
The committee deliberations on the interviews are expected next week, whereafter the committee is to report back to the National Assembly by 31 August 2023. The term of the current PP comes to an end in October 2023.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.