Eight shortlisted for public protector

26 July 2023 - 13:16
By Andisiwe Makinana
Acting public protector Kholeka Gcaleka. File photo.
Image: Freddy Mavunda/Business Day Acting public protector Kholeka Gcaleka. File photo.

Parliament is a step closer to recommending South Africa’s next public protector.

The ad hoc committee tasked with the matter shortlisted eight candidates on Wednesday to be interviewed over two days next month.

Advocates Tseliso Thipanyane, Lynn Marais, Oliver Josie and Tommy Ntsewa, magistrate Johannah Ledwaba, Muvhango Lukhaimane, Prof Boitumelo Mmusinyane and deputy public protector Kholeka Gcaleka have been shortlisted for interviews.

Gcaleka, who is acting in suspended public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s position, was nominated by the ANC and the collective of smaller parties.

The EFF has indicated it will object to her nomination. It nominated Lukhaimane.

Thipanyane, who works in the office of the chief justice, and pension funds adjudicator Lukhaimane received the most nominations (5), followed by Marais and Gcaleka (4).

Advocates Josie and Tommy Ntsewa received three nominations each, with Ledwaba and Mmusinyane getting two.

In a break from tradition, the DA waived its right to nominate candidates. DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said they didn’t know them well enough.

The committee is made up of 11 voting and 14 non-voting MPs. Only the voting 11 can nominate candidates for shortlisting.

The committee decided to shortlist eight of the 38 applications and nominations received earlier this month. Two candidates withdrew before the shortlisting.

Mkhwebane’s seven-year non-renewable term ends in mid-October and parliament has tasked the committee to recommend her replacement by August 31.

The public protector is appointed by the president on the recommendation of the National Assembly.

The successful candidate needs the support of a two-thirds (267) of MPs.