18 nominees for public prosecutor

2009-09-08 21:09

Cape Town - Parliament has received the CVs of 18 new candidates to replace outgoing public protector Lawrence Mushwana, but has yet to draw up a shortlist before the president can fill the post next month.

The nominations received in the past fortnight includes Wits law lecturer Mohamed Alli Chicktay, Advocate Robert Skosana and former deputy education minister Andre Gaum.

Parliament's ad hoc committee set up to shortlist candidates last month briefly reopened the nomination process, which had closed on April 24, as roughly half of the 31 candidates put forward failed to meet basic criteria for the post.

Youngsters 'looking for jobs'

Committee chairperson Mike Masutha said the unsuitable candidates included "young graduates of 25-years-old simply looking for a job".

Masutha dismissed widespread speculation that the preferred candidate to replace Mushwana when he stepped down in October was ANC MP Johnny de Lange, a former deputy justice minister.

De Lange was not on the first or second list of candidates, he said.

Initial process 'overshadowed'

Masutha said the initial nomination process may have been overshadowed by the April elections which brought President Jacob Zuma to power.

The DA has disagreed with the ANC about the need to reopen nominations, saying the first list of names included at least three very competent candidates for the job.

The committee was due to convene again late Tuesday to discuss both the initial and second batch of candidates.

The office of the public protector was established to ensure government accountability and the incumbent serves a single term of seven years.

Mushwana has been widely tipped to be appointed as the next head of the National Prosecuting Authority, but Zuma has been interdicted from filling the post pending the outcome of axed prosecution chief Vusi Pikoli's court battle to be reinstated.