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South Africa parliament vets public protector nominees

By Crystal Orderson in Cape Town
Posted on Friday, 15 July 2016 13:56

The formidable Madonsela will step down in October after completing a seven year non-renewable term. Her replacement would be selected through a process that involves public nominations and security vetting by Parliament.

The eight females on the shortlist are not only there to give effect to the gender sensitivity principle of our constitutional democracy

The Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee has reduced the list to 14 people and they include several former judges and Madonsela’s deputy, Kevin Malunga.

Makhosi Khoza, chairperson of the committee, said they had agreed to focus on ‘four thematic areas such as character of the nominee, experience, knowledge and skills’.

“It was important for us to understand other attributes a candidate possesses so as to determine whether they are ‘a fit and proper person’ for this position,” he said.

The committee also expressed its satisfaction at the number of female candidates that were shortlisted for the position.

“The eight females on the shortlist are not only there to give effect to the gender sensitivity principle of our constitutional democracy, but are on the list because they meet the minimum requirements and the criteria the committee adopted,” Khoza added.

Corruption Watch’s David Lewis who attended the hearing told a local radio station that they were ‘going to look very closely at the shortlisted candidates’.

Corruption Watch submitted a report to the committee after independently vetting the 62 nominees to determine their suitability to head the office.

Madonsela was among the candidates nominated directly by the public but the constitution bars her from serving another term.

Interviews for the post are scheduled for 11 August and the committee said the process would ‘not take more than an hour per candidate – which would include a presentation.

The committee plans to interview all the candidates on the same day and interviews would be broadcast live on radio and television.

Madonsela was a virtual nonentity when she was appointed in 2009 but has built up a reputation of an anti-corruption crusader after exposing corruption and other wrong doings within government.

One of her biggest cases involved President Jacob Zuma who she ordered to repay millions of dollars spent on upgrading his rural home in Nkandla.

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