Public Protector office not aware that Malunga needed security clearance

2016-08-12 20:57
Kevin Malunga (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

Kevin Malunga (Karabo Ngoepe, News24)

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Johannesburg - The Public Protector’s office on Friday said it was not aware that Thuli Madonsela’s deputy, Kevin Malunga, needed full top secret security clearance.

They assumed that Malunga had been thoroughly investigated when he was given the role of deputy Public Protector in 2012, spokesperson Oupa Segalwe told News24.

“We assumed that when Parliament declared him fit and proper for the position of deputy Public Protector that meant he had been vetted, as is the case with judges.”

The office was unsure if Malunga would be able to continue in his role should his application for the post of Public Protector be unsuccessful.

The State Security Agency (SSA) - which screened the 14 candidates applying to replace Madonsela - said in a 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.

This emerged during interviews the candidates had with Parliament’s ad hoc committee on Thursday.

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

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

Democratic Alliance MP Glynnis Breytenbach, who formed part of the 10-member committee interviewing candidates, said Malunga's security clearance was no reflection on his candidacy for the top job, nor was it a reflection on his character.

Read more on:    public protector  |  judiciary
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