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– from the Public Protector’s vision and mission.
The Office of the Public Protector is an institution created by the Constitution, which supports and strengthens democracy in South Africa.
The office can investigate, report on and provide remedies for improper conduct in any government-related matter. This can be misconduct, maladministration or corruption, among other things.
The office should be accessible to anyone to make a complaint.
The powers of the DPP are determined by the public protector. They are also required to step in, should the public protector not be able to perform the functions of their office.
In 2012, the DPP was recruited through a process run by the Justice and Constitutional Development Portfolio Committee. The position was advertised and a total of five CVs and nominations were received for the position. One candidate withdrew, so four were interviewed, and interviews were open to the public. Each candidate was given an opportunity to explain why they wanted the job and to tell the committee about themselves. They were asked questions relating to their employment history, their leadership experience, their view of the Office of the Public Protector as non-partisan, how they would deal with conflict with the public protector and their business interests among other things. The committee members then deliberated on the candidates, and after having some background discussions, the committee unanimously supported Advocate Kevin Malunga for the position.
The interview process was quite fair, in that the committee asked questions relevant to the position. A few committee members put the same question to the interviewees, which meant that they could compare answers objectively.
However, the committee determined that the requirement for public participation had been satisfied simply by advertising the position and by making the interviews open to the public. They did not make an effort to provide for public comment on the candidates.