Public Protector candidates declare past wrongs

2016-07-14 17:35

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Cape Town - Reckless driving, procurement infractions, arrests during apartheid, and disciplinary processes regarding sick leave.

These are among the declarations made by some of the candidates vying for the post of public protector. They, however, said these stains on their records would not prevent them from doing the job well.

In questionnaires submitted to Parliament's ad hoc committee during the shortlisting process, candidates had to disclose whether they had ever been found guilty of unprofessional conduct, or faced disciplinary processes.

Most shortlisted candidates, including advocate Chris Madibeng Mokoditwa, and Busisiwe Mkhwebane, had nothing to declare.

Questioned integrity

READ: Why I deserve to be the public protector - candidates

Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions Willie Hofmeyr said a number of people had questioned his integrity after he filed an affidavit in the litigation by the Democratic Alliance against the National Prosecuting Authority, in a case involving President Jacob Zuma.

"The current NDPP made certain allegations about my integrity in a court application concerning the NPA. Acting on legal advice, I responded to those issues in an affidavit filed in court. I am happy to provide a fuller explanation and the relevant affidavits, should the committee request this," he said.

He declared allegations of corruption against him and numerous arrests for illegal gatherings and protests.

In 2010, businessman Dave King, who faced charges including tax evasion, fraud, and money laundering, laid a complaint against him with the then-NDPP.

"He alleged that I was guilty of corruption in relation to negotiations regarding a settlement of his matter. King later paid about R800m to Sars as part of a settlement and pleaded guilty to some of the charges in the criminal case," he declared.

In the same year, some union members at the Special Investigating Unit laid a criminal complaint against him in his capacity as its head and accounting officer. It related to the procurement of refurbishments at the SIU’s offices, Hofmeyr said.

"I believe that any person who has to deal with allegations of impropriety against rich or powerful figures in the public or private sector is likely to be subjected to unwarranted attacks and criticism."

He accepted a written warning for an infraction of procurement rules, he said.

Law school spat

READ: Corruption Watch to 'look deeply' at shortlisted Public Protector candidates

Deputy Public Protector Kevin Malunga declared that he had a dispute in 2009 with the head of Wits University’s law school after he said Judge President John Hlophe had to be given a fair hearing.

He said academics ought to be able to exercise academic freedom and freedom of speech.

"I have an excellent relationship with Wits University and Wits Law School, where I was the keynote speaker at the prize giving ceremony in 2015."

Unprofessional conduct

Advocate Mhlaliseni Mthembu said that, in 1989, he was suspended from practising as an attorney for nine months, because of negligent and unprofessional conduct.

This was due to failure to reply to correspondence on time, failure to pay fines, not obtaining a by-law certificate, and for double-booking.

Jill Oliphant was charged with negligent and reckless driving in 2010. She was not convicted.

Professor Bongani Majola said that, in 2014, he was investigated by the Office of Internal Oversight in Nairobi, Kenya. This stemmed from a complaint by a whistle-blower at the United Nations Secretariat that Majola had misused the UN’s vehicles.

In one case, he allegedly used a vehicle to transport personal effects. Another case related to the near drowning of his then 3-year-old child. The case was closed and no wrongdoing was found.

Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller said she had received a verbal warning for failing to submit a medical certificate in compliance with the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s leave policy.

Here are the 14 shortlisted candidates:

  • Judge Sharise Weiner
  • Judge Sirajudien Desai
  •  Kevin Malunga
  • Adv Nonkosi Cetywayo
  • Adv Mhlaliseni Mthembu
  • Adv Madibeng Mokoditwa
  • Adv Mamiki Goodman
  • Adjunct Prof Narnia Bohler-Muller
  • Prof Bongani Majola
  • Busisiwe Mkhwebane
  • Jill Oliphant
  • Muvhango Lukhaimane
  • Kaajal Ramjathan-Keogh
  • Willie Hofmeyer
Read more on:    public protector  |  judiciary

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