Eight candidates shortlisted for Deputy Public Protector position

Justice and correctional services portfolio committee chairperson Bulelani Magwanishe.

Justice and correctional services portfolio committee chairperson Bulelani Magwanishe.

Published Feb 29, 2024


A magistrate, a deputy director of public prosecutions, an acting judge and an executive manager for investigations at Public Protector South Africa are among those vying to fill the vacant position of the deputy public protector.

This emerged when the justice and correctional services portfolio committee shortlisted eight candidates out of the 44 applications, after two people withdrew their nominations.

The position became vacant when Kholeka Gcaleka was appointed the public protector after her predecessor, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, was impeached last year.

Those nominated are Gauteng Corporate Management Services chief Siphokazi Moleshe, Limpopo Acting Judge Sekgame Shadrack Tebeile and Deputy Director for Public Prosecutions Tommy Aron Bunguzana.

Others are Public Protector South Africa executive manager for investigations Ponatshego Mogaladi, magistrate Lindiwe Mkhize, State advocate at the Director of Public Prosecutions office Mari Marriott, Limpopo Human Rights Commission manager Azwidini Victor Mavhidula, and former Human Rights Commission CEO Tseliso Thipanyane.

The DA did not make nominations, leaving the task to the ANC and EFF.

The candidates were shortlisted after Parliament advertised their names and CVs for public comment in January until last week.

Committee chairperson Bulelani Magwanishe said the environment in which they worked to advertise the position was not ideal.

“We struggled to get Parliament to advertise. At some point we were told people are on leave, they would come after January 27, and then the problem of getting codes,” Magwanishe said.

He also said there were lots of problems around procurement, something that delayed the recruitment of a deputy public protector ahead of the end of the term of the fifth Parliament.

“We were seriously delayed by the administration of Parliament and that impacted on the quality of the work we had to do.”

He apologised that the committee secretariat did not prepare a spreadsheet on the candidates.

“It was because of the circumstances beyond our control and we had to work under tremendous pressure,” Magwanishe said.

ANC MP Qubudile Dyantyi said he found it unacceptable that the committee had gone through the difficulty despite there being a section dealing with chapter nine institutions.

Dyantyi said the matter should be flagged in their report recommending a candidate and the legacy report for the end of the term.

During a discussion, MPs agreed to have enough potential candidates for the interviews during actual meetings. DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said she was not in favour of a lengthy shortlist, however it should have sufficient potential candidates to give the committee the overview they were looking for. “Not more than six or eight,” she said.

ANC MP Xola Nqola said they had a number of potentially appropriate candidates. He suggested they shortlist 11 or 12.

“There are a lot of capable nominees and applicants,” he said.

EFF MP Busisiwe Mkhwebane agreed with Breytenbach that they could shortlist six or eight people for interviews, but she emphasised the need to ensure those shortlisted met the minimum requirement of 10-year legal experience and public administration dealing with issues of constitutional and administrative-related experience.

“If we shortlist six we can do them in a day.

“Two days, sometimes gives disadvantage to other candidates interviewed on the first day. This process is public, that is one thing I am careful about holding in two days,” Mkhwebane said.

Magwanishe said: “If members feel they have people to be shortlisted, we can move to 10. Preferably eight or 10, if satisfied with the list nominated, it would be fine.”

Magwanishe agreed with Dyantyi that there should be at least a 50% representation of women for the candidates to be interviewed.

The interviews will take place on March 12.

Cape Times