The skeletons in the closets of some Public Protector candidates

2016-07-12 13:10
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Who’s Who on the new Public Protector list

View the profiles of some of the candidates nominated to be the new Public Protector here.

Cape Town – From rape and corruption charges, to links with the Gupta family and domestic conflict, the lives of public protector candidates have been laid bare.

Corruption Watch and the Democratic Governance and Rights Unit did background checks on all the candidates and supplied the information to the ad hoc committee tasked with finding a replacement for Thuli Madonsela.

The 144-page document includes information on whether the candidates are suitably qualified and if they have any skeletons in their personal or professional lives.

In the document, supplied to the committee on Friday, one of the candidates, Linda Mabaso, is found to allegedly have ties with the Gupta family. 

"The Gupta’s long-time associate, Salim Essa is said to be the former business partner of Mabaso’s son, Malcolm Mabaso. Malcolm was a director with Essa in a company called 48 Premium Security and Cleaning Services, but resigned in October 2015, presumably to take up the position with Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane. Linda Mabaso is said to be close to the Guptas and to Zuma," Corruption Watch said in the document.

One candidate, Malcolm Nhleko, had been charged with corruption over a trial, while another, Maniki Shai, once accused former public protector Lawrence Mushwana of sexually harassing her.

Another candidate, Advocate Godfrey Lebeya, former deputy national commissioner of the SAPS’ crime detection unit, was a witness in the case against suspended crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. 

Candidate Themba Mthethwa, former CEO at the Office of the Public Protector, was suspended by Mushwana, when he was protector, "for failing to disclose medical information that impacted on his appointment and for not revealing information about his suspension whilst at the SA Local Government Association".

He was reinstated by Madonsela and she dropped all charges against him.

While most of the candidates meet the basic requirements for the position, there are some notable exceptions, according to Corruption Watch.

One of them is Nokuthula Nwaoshai, who has experience in the pharmaceutical industry, but not in law.

For other candidates, such as Makungu Mthebula, Corruption Watch said their CVs did not make it clear whether they met all the basic requirements.

It was also not clear whether former MP Phillip Dexter’s qualifications met the legislative requirements for public protector, they said.

They also called for ANC MP Loyiso Mpumlwana’s experience to be scrutinised.

"Mpumlwana meets the requirements in part due to his time as an advocate, however at the same time he lists managing the legal division at Khanyisa Business consultancy, but only part time. It may be important to scrutinise his tenure as an advocate at this time," the document states.

Corruption Watch also included the political affiliations of the candidates, if the information was available in their vetting process. Affiliations for some of the candidates include the ANC and its affiliates, Cope, ACDP and Agang. 

Read more on:    public protector  |  corruption watch  |  corruption  |  parliament 2016

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