Public Protector does not need top secret clearance

Cape Town – Top secret security clearance is not a requirement to be Public Protector, Parliament was told on Thursday.

This was according to the Public Protector Act, Parliament’s legal advisor advocate Zuraya Adhikari told the ad hoc committee established to find a replacement for Thuli Madonsela.

Committee chairperson Makhosi Khoza instructed MPs not to use the information contained in a letter from the State Security Agency when deciding which of the 14 remaining candidates to put on the shortlist of five.

The letter became the subject of discussion during the interview with Deputy Public Protector Kevin Malunga before the committee last week. According to the letter, received after the shortlisting process, Malunga was only qualified for confidential, and not top secret clearance, and could thus not do his boss’s job.

ACDP MP Steve Swart said the security clearance issue was sprung on Malunga and could have unsettled and disadvantaged him.

EFF MP Floyd Shivambu said the letter was extremely prejudicial to Malunga and should not be taken into consideration.

Madonsela’s seven-year term ends in October.

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