No security request for Malunga when he became deputy - SSA

2016-08-12 14:32
Kevin Malunga. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Kevin Malunga. (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

'He does not meet the security requirements' - Malunga's position questioned

2016-08-11 22:56

An ad hoc committee is interviewing 14 candidates for the Public Protector position today. During the interview process, committee members revealed that front runner and current Deputy Public Protector doesn't have the correct security clearance to hold the position.WATCH

Cape Town - The State Security Agency (SSA) has said all 14 Public Protector candidates were screened for background checks, and that no request had been made for Kevin Malunga when he was first appointed as Deputy Public Protector in 2012.

A 10-member Parliamentary committee conducted interviews on Thursday with all 14 candidates hoping to take the reins held by outgoing Thuli Madonsela in October.

During Malunga's interview, the committee raised the matter of his security clearance. A report compiled by the SSA containing his clearance status was delivered in a letter on August 4.

The SSA said in the letter that Malunga, who was born in Zimbabwe, did not meet the requirements for top secret security clearance, due to his current status as a naturalised citizen.

He was naturalised in 2010, having denounced his Zimbabwean citizenship, and would only be eligible to gain full clearance after 20 years.

Malunga though has been Madonsela's deputy for the last three-and-a-half years - since December 2012.

Request for screening for all candidates

SSA spokesperson Brian Dube told News24 on Friday that the agency only processes background checks after a request from clients, and no request was made when Malunga was first appointed.

"The SSA acted on a request from Parliament to conduct a screening process on all 14 candidates," he said.

"A report with comments pertaining to all candidates including outcomes of the screening process was submitted to Parliament.

"The SSA, amongst others, acts on requests from client departments on the screening or vetting of candidates.

"No request was received when he was initially appointed."

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach meanwhile said Malunga's security clearance was no reflection on his candidacy for the top job, nor is it a reflection of his character.

Breytenbach is part of the 10-member Parliamentary committee tasked with interviewing all the candidates.

'Still meets requirements for job'

She told News24 on Friday that the security clearance was something the committee "has to deal with", but the final recommendation to the National Assembly still lies with them.

"The issue of the security clearance is no reflection on him, nor his integrity, nor a reflection of his candidacy," she said.

"There is nothing in the Public Protector Act that specifies that it is a requirement.

"He still meets the statutory requirements for the post."

Breytenbach said it would be "patently unfair" to make Malunga's clearance a requirement now, when it was not an issue when he was appointed as deputy.

Committee spokesperson Temba Gubula said in a statement on Friday that the SSA letter had not only been used for Malunga's interview, but that information contained in the letter had also been used in the interviews of the other candidates as well.

Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe meanwhile refuted committee member Phumzile van Damme's remark that Malunga had worked under Radebe as a speech writer in the Justice department.

"The office of Minister Radebe refutes the statement or any inference made that Advocate Malunga served as adviser to Minister Radebe or wrote any speeches for the Minister in any capacity," a department statement read on Friday afternoon.

"He was appointed as researcher in the Office of the Chief Justice on contract in 2010 and was part of the initial staff complement that provided administrative support the newly established office of the Chief Justice."

*Note: This article has been updated. The last three paragraphs were added after publication.

Read more on:    public protector  |  kevin malunga  |  glynnis breytenbach  |  cape town

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.