Who are your five remaining Public Protector candidates?

2016-08-22 07:55
Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai. (File, 24.com pool)

Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai. (File, 24.com pool)

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Cape Town - Five candidates will now be vying for the Public Protector position after the list was cut down on Thursday.

But who exactly are they?

The five candidates who made the list are judges Sharise Weiner and Siraj Desai, and advocates Busisiwe Mkhwebane, Muvhango Lukhaimane and Professor Bongani Majola.

Here is a breakdown of their credentials...

Judge Siraj Desai

Siraj Desai is a High Court judge sitting in the Western Cape High Court in Cape Town.

He has been a judge for the past 21 years following a successful career as an advocate, which included working under Dullah Omar, who would later become the country's first democratic minister of justice.

The 65-year-old was nominated by three senior colleagues of the Cape Bar, and told News24 back in July that he was ready for a change.

Desai was unsurprisingly questioned about a rape accusation he once faced and the facts around it.

An agitated Desai told the committee he was neither acquitted nor convicted and the charge was withdrawn under oath.

Read Judge Desai's interview with News24 here...

Advocate Muvhango Lukhaimane

Muvhango Lukhaimane is currently employed as Pension Funds Adjudicator, and has served in the position since June 2013.

She spent seven years prior to that working in State Security, leaving her final position of chairperson of the Intelligence Services Council in May 2012.

On Thursday she received a clearance certificate from police confirming that she has no criminal record, following a grilling over apparent criminal charges of common assault and dealing in liquor illegally at last week's interviews.

In her CV to the portfolio committee she listed her ability to work well under pressure and "courageous leadership abilities" as two of the many character traits that make her suitable for the job.

Professor Bongani Majola

Bongani Majola is an esteemed advocate of the Johannesburg Bar, and an advocate of the High Court.

His highest qualification is a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School in Boston, US, which he attained in the late 1980s.

He worked as a prosecutor, a magistrate and part-time lecturer in KwaZulu-Natal during the 1970s, before starting a long, illustrious career in academia at the University of North West in 1982.

Economic Freedom Fighters MP Floyd Shivambu took exception to Majola's occupation during apartheid, asking him at his interview, "How can we employ someone who worked for apartheid government? Maybe you even taught apartheid laws?"

Majola said his time as a prosecutor during apartheid did not mean he would ignore certain cases.

Judge Sharise Weiner

Sharise Weiner has been serving as a High Court judge for the past five years. Prior to this, she had worked as an advocate of the Supreme and High courts of South Africa since 1978.

Weiner was conferred senior counsel status by then president Nelson Mandela in 1995 on recommendation of the Johannesburg Bar.

She also set up a non-profit organisation, Free the World, that distributes blankets to the needy.

Weiner was asked about her struggle credentials during her interview. She said she had been a member of Nusas while a student, and worked with Lawyers for Human Rights, describing apartheid as "frustrating" to her in her life.

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane

Busisiwe Mkhwebane is currently a director at the National Immigration Services in the Department of Home Affairs.

Mkhwebane told the committee during her interview that her in-depth knowledge and experience of government sector policy implementation make her the ideal candidate for the job.

She has seven years' experience as an investigator in the office of the Public Protector, and also holds a master's in business leadership from Unisa.

During her interview, she was asked why she declared no business interests in her application. A Corruption SA report said she had seven active business interests.

Mkhwebane said she has never done any business other than her job that she got a salary for and thus had no business interests to declare. 

The committee will meet on Wednesday to make the final selection from the five candidates.

- Click HERE to view the five remaining candidates' CVs on Parliament's website.

- See the Live Update of the marathon interview process.

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