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Debate on new public protector set for October 19

Andisiwe Makinana Political correspondent
Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka is among candidates for the role of public protector. File photo.
Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka is among candidates for the role of public protector. File photo.
Image: YouTube Screenshot

Parliament’s vote to recommend the new public protector has been scheduled for October 19.

The National Assembly had to delay the session due to a struggle to secure a venue to accommodate its 400 members.

On Thursday, secretary of the National Assembly Masibulele Xaso told MPs that the Cape Town City Hall, which was earlier unavailable, had received a cancellation, opening the way for a full in-person sitting.

The alternative was the Cape Town International Convention Centre on October 18, at a much higher cost than the negligible fee parliament pays for the city hall.

“While we were struggling with the venue, we had to agree on the 18th because we want to deal with this matter once and for all,” said ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina.

“Then later, we heard there was a cancellation at the city hall for the 19th,” she added.

The assembly’s programming committee initially planned for the vote to consider advocate Kholeka Gcaleka’s nomination for the post to be held on September 11, the same day it considered the section 194 committee's recommendation to remove advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane from office.

But Majodina said voting on both matters could see proceedings concluding late and proposed the vote on Gcaleka’s appointment be moved to September 21.

The date was cancelled as parliament struggled to secure a venue and also because some committee members were travelling for oversight, meaning MPs wouldn’t be able to physically attend the session.

The programming committee decided on the roll-call voting system for the nomination, which requires each MP to answer “yes” or “no” when called.

The nominated candidate requires a vote of at least 60% (240 MPs), while at least two-thirds support (267 MPs) is required to remove a public protector from office.

Last week, President Cyril Ramaphosa removed Mkhwebane, whose term of office was scheduled to end in mid-October, after an overwhelming supporting vote (318) for her removal by the National Assembly.


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