Desai, Hofmeyr, Malunga make Public Protector shortlist

2016-07-13 17:04

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Cape Town - Deputy Public Protector Advocate Kevin Malunga, Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai and Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Willie Hofmeyr have made it onto the shortlist to replace Thuli Madonsela.

The committee tasked with finding a new public protector on Wednesday sifted through more than 60 candidates, and at the end of the day, were left with 14.

The candidates on the shortlist would now be interviewed on Thursday, August 11.

Objections to Desai

READ: The skeletons in the closets of some Public Protector candidates

Other shortlisted candidates are

  • Judge Sharise Weiner,
  • Professor Bongani Majola,
  • Advocate MT Goodman,
  • Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller,
  • Mushing Lukhaimane,
  • Busisiwe Mkhwebane,
  • Advocate Chris Madibeng Mokoditwa,
  • Advocate Nonkosi Princess Cetywayo,
  • Mhlaliseni Mthembu,
  • Jill Oliphant
  • Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh

Desai was nominated to the shortlist by African National Congress MP Bongani Bongo, who sang his praises, while Hofmeyer was also nominated by the ANC.

The Democratic Alliance, however, raised fierce objections to Desai's name, citing political rulings and participation in commissions of inquiry.

The DA’s James Selfe also raised concerns over the judge’s health, which annoyed chairperson Dr Makhosi Khoza. She told MPs that they were not doctors and should not make diagnoses on candidates.

"Someone’s health is not grounds for disqualification in the process," she said.

She also cautioned against bringing personal issues into the process. The committee had been set to nominate only 10 candidates, but the number quickly ballooned to 14, and Khoza said she would not "stifle" anyone’s nominations.

Nominating Makunga to the shortlist, African Christian Democratic Party MP Steve Swart said the deputy public protector had stood in for Madonsela when needed.

"And he has weathered the storms," he said.

More than half of the shortlisted candidates are women.

No MPs, current and former, made the shortlist.

Shaky start

The second half of the meeting got off to a shaky start on Wednesday, when MPs bemoaned the lack of documentation for some of the candidates.

MPs had a pack that included CVs, questionnaires, and comments from the public.

When some opposition MPs raised concerns about not having seen all the questionnaires, an irate Khoza said some members were trying to find fault with the process.

Khoza, who almost lost her cool, reminded the committee that she was a firm believer in processes and even cautioned members against their need for printed copies, reminding them to be "earth friendly".

"There is the parliamentary website where you can access those CVs. Are you telling me that, as members of Parliament, you can’t access the CVs when civil society has been able to do so? Members please, let’s be leaders," she said.

She appealed for MPs to act responsibly, before adjourning the meeting for a second time to deal with MP complaints about documents.

The candidates were shortlisted when the meeting started again, almost 40 minutes later.

All shortlisted candidates will be interviewed on the same day, to avoid them watching the interviews live on TV.

Read more on:    public protector  |  parliament 2016

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