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The political parties which comprise the ad-hoc committee.
On 24 May the National Assembly appointed an ad-hoc committee to oversee the appointment process for a new public protector. The non-renewable seven-year term of incumbent Thuli Madonsela comes to an end in October 2016 and a successor must take over. After weeks of scrutinising, shortlisting and interviewing, the ad-hoc committee will report to Parliament by 31 August with their choice of candidate – this name is then sent to the president, who will approve the appointment.
Who are these people who are playing such an important role in our democratic journey? Read on to get to know the members of the public protector ad-hoc committee.
Dr Makhosi Busisiwe Khoza
Khoza has been a member of the National Assembly since 2014. She is a former chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Finance in KwaZulu-Natal and has over 20 years of collective experience at both public and private sector institutions. She holds a PhD in Administration, a master’s degree in Social Science (Policy and Development studies) and is a fellow at the Aspen Global Leadership Institute. Khoza is currently studying towards a master’s degree in Finance at the University of London.
What she says about the public protector appointment process:
“The public participation process starts now. There are not going to be any undercover dealings,” said Makhosi Khoza.
Khoza said she was open to suggestions on how far the public could participate. Civil society would be allowed to submit questions to the committee to be posed to the candidates, if relevant.
“The process is going to be very transparent,” she said five times during the hour-long meeting.
Bongani Thomas Bongo
Originally from Mpumalanga, Bongo has been a member of the National Assembly since 2014.
His views on public participation on the nomination of a public protector-
Mr B Bongo (ANC) commented about public participation in terms of precedent. The Committee was not dealing with the appointment of the Public Protector for the first time as Parliament. Public participation was generally already covered, because Parliament had set up a multi-party committee constituted by the assembled MPs within the Committee; and they were the public representatives to deal with that matter. Participation in the main would be in the nomination process once the advert was out, and then the public would participate in terms of nominating. Otherwise the other matters were generally legislative matters on how the process was to run, but everything was already covered in the legislation. So from a legislation point of view, he did not understand how the public would participate, other than through the multi-party committee and the nomination process, which everyone would be entitled to participate in as the public.
Source: Parliamentary Monitoring Group
On a tabled motion to apologise to the public protector-
“I don’t think we must apologise for anything here. It’s just like when a judgment of a lower court has been dismissed by a higher court, the lower judge is not told he must apologise for the judgment. He just sets aside everything automatically.”
Source: Eyewitness News
“Today, the matter that is before us is about the budgetary processes and the strategic planning of the office of the public protector. I think to deviate from that…we would be collapsing the whole debate we came here for,” he said.
“I don’t think we must apologise for anything, chair.”
Source: Mail & Guardian
He has made the following remarks on the public protector:
ANC MP Bongani Bongo took aim at Ms Madonsela during questions following her briefing to the committee. “I want the Public Protector to desist from political posturing,” he said.
Mr Bongo insisted that Ms Madonsela was a member of the public service and should refrain from making adverse statements about the government because she was part of that government.
The MP received broad support from his ANC colleagues. Mr Bongo also criticised the donor funding Ms Madonsela had sought from Germany and the US, saying she was assisting the counterrevolution. “What do they want in return?”
Source: Business Day
She was then told by ANC MP Bongani Bongo she was “behaving like the DA” while speaking to her colleague during question time.
Nkosiyakhe Amos Masondo
Amos Masondo was born in Soweto in 1953. He was the mayor of the City of Johannesburg between 2001 and 2011, the first elected mayor of the Johannesburg metro. He was long-listed for the 2008 World Mayor Award. He took part in anti-Afrikaans protests in the early 1970s and was imprisoned on Robben Island from 1975 to 1981. Masondo is also a founding member of the United Democratic Front, a broad non-racial coalition against apartheid, and a former Cosatu regional secretary.
He made the following comments regarding public participation in the appointment of a public protector:
Mr A Masondo (ANC) said there was need for clarity when the Committee spoke about ‘the public’ – who was it speaking about and what kind of recommendations, after what process – this would have to be examined by the Committee and how would that take place? Otherwise they ran the risk of just talking about public participation as a slogan without any meaningful content. As arguments were put forward they had to be elaborated on and clarified as to what they in fact meant, and what was meant by the ‘so called public out there’. Even in instances where the Committee was speaking about the public, it was actually speaking about organised groupings and communities. In most instances the emphasis was on the organisations that had the capacity to make representations, fly from around the country into Cape Town. So the Committee needed to clarify that because ‘the public’ were in fact civil society organisations, and these were two different things. There was need for clarity.
Mr Masondo requested that they noted the proposals that had been made and give the Chairperson a broad mandate to adjust the programme accordingly. On the advertising of names, they should look at the suitability of that, and then when the moment came, they do it.
He made the following comments regarding fairness on the disciplinary hearing of the EFF members:
Mr N Masondo (ANC) commented on the points made earlier in relation to natural justice. Some of the Members of this Committee were present in the House during the events of 21 August 2014 and so some were witnesses to these events. He asked whether this would hinder the fairness of the process.
The Chairperson told Mr Masondo that this matter had been addressed. He said Mr Masondo’s statements seemed to suggest that those Members who were present in the House during the events of 21 August 2014 should not be part of the hearing currently under way, and this would be an impossible task. The Powers and Privileges Committee was an internal Committee of Parliament that dealt with matters relating to Members of Parliament. If all 400 Members of Parliament had been sitting in during the President’s responses, then this raised the question who would be the Members who could sit at the disciplinary hearing?
Mr Masondo said the initiator was supposed to lead the proceedings and not a Member of the Committee, and he suggested that the initiator should perhaps be chairing the proceedings, and asked if the Legal Advisers could assist on this point.
Dr Patrick Maesela
Maesela is a distinguished academic, doctor and political scientist. He started schooling at an early age under trying conditions, but eventually graduated as a clinical pathologist. He became a member of uMkhonto we Sizwe and was deployed overseas where he obtained a PhD in Political Economy. Between 2003 and 2005 Maesela worked in the provincial governments of Mpumalanga and Limpopo. He is a non-executive director of the Johannesburg market and has been a member of the National Assembly since 2014.
Grace Kekulu Tseke
Tseke has been a member of the National Assembly since May 2014. Before her appointment to the public protector ad hoc committee, she served on the portfolio committees on Transportation as well as Women, Youth, Children and People with Disability. Before coming to Parliament, Tseke was an ANC ward councillor and Women’s league branch chairperson. She holds a diploma in education; a diploma in business computing; and a certificate in managing the employment process.
Nicolaas Jacobus Janse Van Rensburg Koornhof
Koornhof has been a Member of Parliament since 1987. He served as a member of the executive council for the Western Cape Provincial Government from 1998 – 2001, and was a member of the Western Cape Provincial Government as a Democratic Alliance member since 1999. Although he served as an MP for COPE, Koornhof has appeared on the ANC list of national parliamentary candidates since he joined the party in March 2014. He is also a former member of the Judicial Service Commission
Madipoane Refiloe Moremadi Mothapo
Mothapo lives in Limpopo and is a member of the Bakgaga Traditional Council. She has been a member of the National Assembly since May 2014.
She asked the following on Chapter 9 institutions during a meeting on constitutional amendments:
Ms M Mothapo (ANC) asked about the role of chapter nine institutions, especially section 182 of the Constitution on the Public Protector and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). Would the setting up of the integrity commission not result in a duplication of mandates, especially with that of the Public Protector?
Breytenbach is a former senior prosecutor for the National Prosecuting Authority. She has been a Member of Parliament for the DA since May 2014 and is a shadow minister of justice and correctional services.
On the public protector and public participation in the nomination process:
Citing several court cases, Democratic Alliance MP Glynnis Breytenbach said public participation would make the process much more transparent and would bind the appointee to do their job without fear, favour, or prejudice.
New Public Protector must be loyal to the Rule of Law and Constitution
24 May 2016
The process to appoint a new Public Protector, will begin today with the adoption of draft resolution in the House this afternoon. In this regard a multiparty Ad Hoc Committee will be established in order to interview candidates ahead of Adv. Thuli Madonsela’s non-renewable seven year term expiring in October of this year.
Adv.Madonsela, a fearless and non-partisan defender of the people of South Africa has set the bar high in terms of what is expected of the woman or man who occupies the Office of the Public Protector.
The Chapter Nine institution, empowered by the Constitution and an Act of Parliament, has played a pivotal role, in the last seven years, in shedding light on the dark corrupt activities of State officials and politicians who are entrusted with the administration of the people’s money.
To replace Adv. Madonsela with a lapdog of the Majority Party, would be contrary to the spirit and role of the Public Protector envisaged by the Constitution and the doctrine of the separation of powers. The Office of the Public Protector should stand as a watch-dog against government corruption, impropriety and maladministration.
The Democratic Alliance, alongside political parties who believe in the Rule of Law and stopping corruption, will work tirelessly during this process to appoint the new Public Protector, to ensure that the right woman or man is appointed to serve the interests of the people instead of the narrow interests of a political cabal set on advancing their own self-interested agenda.
Issued by Glynnis Breytenbach, DA Shadow Minister of Justice, 24 May 2016
She commented on criticism of Corruption Watch’s public protector campaign:
Responding to Moloto Mathapo, spokesperson for the office of the ANC chief whip, who said he cannot understand why Corruption Watch, who claims to respect the Public Protector, is talking about finding Madonsela’s replacement when the official process is far from starting… Glynnis Breytenbach said the following- “It can do no harm,”…“The office of the Public Protector is vital for the constitutional democracy.”
Noting past ANC appointments, Breytenbach said the DA will monitor the process and push for a fit and proper appointee who is not politically aligned.
Source: Daily Maverick
Phumzile Thelma Van Damme
Van Damme majored in political science and law at Rhodes University. She joined the DA as a political staffer a few months after the 2009 election, and worked as a DA staffer both for the party and DA-run governments for five years, largely in research and media. She is the former Head of Parliamentary Research and Communications for the DA and has been a member of the National Assembly since May 2014. She is the party’s national spokesperson.
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She made the following remarks regarding public participation on the nomination of the public protector:
Ms P Van Damme (DA) stated that as a starting point before they decided what form of public participation they wanted, they needed to look at what had been done in 2009 when the current Public Protector was appointed, what that ad hoc Committee did when considering public participation, not that they were bound by what that Committee did – but it would be good to see that. She did not know if the Secretariat could let them know what had happened. At least they would be starting from a place of knowledge. Right now there were a lot of ideas in the air but they did not have the facts and how to improve on the process.
She asked Deputy President Ramaphosa in Parliament on why the ANC government was not supporting the public protector’s office. She pointed that the office was facing financial hurdles. She hinted on whether it was because the public protector had gone after “Number 1”. Her overall message was that the ANC must protect the public protector.
She was critical of the SABC’s golden handshakes in which she criticised the manner of appointments which she alleged have cost South Africa of over R34.5 million.
Selfe was born in Pretoria and went to boarding school at Bishops in Cape Town at the age of eight. After matriculating, he did military duty but left in the mid-1980s. He joined the PFP in 1978 and in 1992 became the Democratic Party’s executive director. In 1999 he was elected to Parliament. In 2000 he was named chairperson of the DP’s federal council and retained the position with the formation of the DA, a post he still holds. He is also a shadow minister for justice and correctional services.
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He says legal certainty about the powers of the Public Protector is vital to functioning of our constitutional democracy:
Source: Polity.org.za He was critical of the dismissive attitude of the president towards the constitutional powers of the Public Protector:
But [today’s case] is also about accountability and upholding the rule of law. Our Constitution is binding on all organs of state, including the President. To have ignored a constitutional organ, in the form of the Public Protector, for over two years, and to have employed a series of stratagems, including the Police Minister’s Report and the three ad hoc parliamentary committees, to “second guess” and “ignore” the Public Protector requires judicial action. In so doing Parliament and the Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko, have manipulated their roles to further thwart due process all in an effort to absolve the President for his role in the abuse of R246 million in public funds. They have aided and abetted the President in his vexatious attempts to unravel our hard won constitutional order.
That is why the DA seeks an order declaring the decision by the President to ignore the Public Protector’s remedial action to be unlawful and constitutionally invalid.
This case has not only got huge implications for the Public Protector and her powers, but also for democratic accountability. 21 years into our democracy, we need to establish the benchmarks of good governance and transparency, and we are confident that the Court will assist in achieving this.
Source: DA website
He has been critical of the disruptions happening in Parliament:
James Selfe, the chairman of the Democratic Alliance’s federal executive, said Parliament had achieved the dubious distinction of becoming the country’s most popular soap opera.
Selfe added that while his party abhorred the conduct of the EFF, the “arrogance of the majority party” was the root cause. Both the ANC and Zuma were found by the Constitutional Court to have flouted the law by not implementing the Public Protector’s directives that he reimburse the state for additions to his Nkandla home.
The president should have resigned and, failing that, the ANC should have supported an opposition motion to impeach him, Selfe added.
Source: Independent Newspapers
He was critical of the disciplinary action by SABC which saw Hlaudi Motsoneng being acquitted. He said the disciplinary action was a farce.
The DA’s James Selfe said the disciplinary action taken by the SABC against Motsoeneng – which saw him acquitted in the end – was a “farce”. The party has brought an application to request a court to set aside the disciplinary proceedings. “There is no more room for him to manoeuvre,” said Selfe, pointing to Thursday’s ruling by the Constitutional Court that had confirmed the appeal court ruling.
Source: City Press
Horn has been a member of the National Assembly since May 2014. Up until this time he practised as a lawyer in Bloemfontein, but has since devoted himself entirely to politics. He is a shadow deputy minister of justice and correctional services.
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He emphasised the need for a public apology to the public protector in order to normalise relations:
Werner Horn said “it would be remiss of us as a committee to just go about things as if it’s business as usual”
Source: Rand Daily Mail
The DA’s Werner Horn said an apology would only be proper to “normalise” relations with the public protector. But ANC MPs took turns to shut down their requests.
DA MP Werner Horn said the apology request should be included in the report, as it was part of last week’s proceedings.
The committee adopted the budget vote reports of the justice and constitutional development department and the Chief Justice’s office. Referring to the report on the latter, Horn raised what he called the “thorny issue” regarding the Chief Justice’s preference for a court administration model.
It would give the office more independence and would mean it would no longer account to the justice minister. Horn said that a lack of certainty was not good for both entities and the matter had to be finalised. Bongo said, as the issue was not raised during the budget and strategic planning meeting last year, it should not be included in the report.
On the need to increase the budget of the Public Protector he said the following:
When Majake questioned why the opposition parties were protecting Madonsela, DA MP Werner Horn said the presentation did not differ from any of the other budget presentations the committee had accepted in the past couple of weeks.
On Kebby Maphatsoe’s remarks that the public protector was a CIA spy, Werner Horn said the following:
The Democratic Alliance demanded that Maphatsoe, who is also the deputy minister of defence, withdraw his comments and apologise.
“I will … request the chairperson of the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services, Mathole Motshekga, to summon the deputy minister before the committee to provide substantiation for these serious allegations,” DA MP Werner Horn said in a statement.
“If the deputy minister fails to provide proof to support his claims, swift action must be taken against him to prevent these kinds of fabrications from happening in future.”
Sibusiso Christopher Mncwabe
Mncwabe graduated with a Bachelor of Law from UKZN’s Westville campus. He served in different student formations including the Law Students Council, Black Lawyers’ Association Student Chapter, and the Street Law project. He has been a member of the National Assembly since May 2014.
He condemned the youth for attacking the Zulu king:
“It is uncalled for, unwarranted and it is unusual and uncultural for young people to attack the king,” Gwala said. The NFP Youth Brigade’s Sibusiso Mncwabe said it was taboo and disrespectful to challenge and exchange words with an elderly person. “It’s worse when you do it to the father of the nation,” Mncwabe said.
“(The) YCL has lost respect and family values, and need to rebirth,” he added.
He condemned the inflating of a tender by Justice and Correctional Services from R50-million to R378-million.
Sibusiso Mncwabe of the National Freedom Party said it was disturbing that there were irregularities in this tender. The ACDP’s Steve Swart said they commended the National Treasury for taking action.
Source: Cape Times
Swart is originally from Fish Hoek, Cape Town. He studied for his BA and LLB degrees at the University of Stellenbosch, and practised as an attorney for about 15 years before being elected to Parliament in 1999. He has since obtained an honours degree in economics from University of the Western Cape. This assists him in his work in the Finance Committee, which deals with the national budget, global and domestic economic growth figures and similar issues. Swart is one of the longest-serving members on the justice and constitutional development portfolio committee. He was one of the drafters of the Western Cape Provincial Constitution.
He has criticised the hostile treatment of the public protector by the ANC:
Mr Horn received strong support from African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP Steve Swart who also referred to Ms Mbete’s expression of regret, saying, “I at the time objected to the hostile way she was treated.”
He said an apology was needed to restore the relationship between the committee and the public protector.
ANC MP Bongani Bongo said the committee was not meeting to deal with an apology to Ms Madonsela but to deal with the budget of her office and also “there is nothing to apologise for”.
He and other opposition members of Parliament rejected the Seriti Commission’s findings on the arms procurement scandal:
The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) Chief Whip, Steve Swart, has expressed a similar view.
“Allegations that this is a white wash seem to be substantiated. It appears the commission was at pains to find there was no evidence. The question is whether the public will accept this when there is evidence including from overseas that there were payments made.”
Source: SABC News
On SABC and the effect of remedial actions by the Public Protector:
The ACDP’s Steve Swart said the party welcomed the SCA ruling “that the Public Protector’s remedial findings cannot be ignored and can only be reviewed by a court of law. This finding makes eminent sense, given that the Public Protector is a key Chapter 9 institution, in the fight against fraud, corruption and maladministration in the public sector”.
Source: The Media Online
He was critical of the police report on Nkandla which absolved President Zuma from repaying any of the R246-million spent on his home upgrades:
African Christian Democratic Party MP Steve Swart wanted a line included in the committee report that some opposition MPs expressed concern that their participation in the committee lent legitimacy to what they believed was an unconstitutional process.
Prof Christian Themba Msimang
Outside of his political career, Msimang is a renowned poet and librettist, having worked on acclaimed operas such as Princess Magogo. He is a former head of African languages at Unisa and a widely published author and playwright. He has also served as IFP deputy secretary-general.
He has criticised the attacks on the public protector:
Inkatha Freedom Party MP Themba Msimang said that, to many citizens of this country, the current Public Protector was the first to actually give meaning to the concept [of a Public Protector].
“One would expect that she would be given an enabling budget and all the necessary support by the department.”
He has criticised calls to nationalise the Ilanga Newspaper and attacked NUMSA for supporting such a call:
IFP: NUMSA OUT TO SCORE CHEAP POLITICAL POINTS THROUGH ILANGA STRIKE
The IFP condemns, in the strongest terms, NUMSA’s unjustified and selective call for the nationalisation of a successful private profit-making business that is the Ilanga newspaper.
Not only would such an action be in contravention of the South African Constitution, which protects private enterprise, but it would also be disingenuous without a similar call for the nationalisation of all businesses owned by various ANC cronies.
The Ilanga newspaper with its strong growth in readership and advertising is a robust success story in the media environment which has seen newspaper circulations plummet. This success has steadily trickled down to all its stakeholders, among whom Ilanga is proud to include its newsroom staff.
The IFP, for its part in the ownership of the Ilanga newspaper, has never interfered in management or editorial matters pertaining to this newspaper. It will therefore not start intervening now, except for a resolute defence of the private enterprise as a driving force for the betterment of the lives of all South Africans, especially those whose economic opportunities were curtailed by discrimination under apartheid.
The IFP is extremely appalled that NUMSA would try to hijack a strike that has got nothing to do with them, in an effort to take unwarranted potshots at the IFP and score cheap political points.
The comments with regard to the manager of the Ilanga, Mr Arthur Koningkramer, whom they have termed as an “imperialist German national”, have exposed NUMSA as an organisation which is deeply and fundamentally racist.
The allegation that the IFP sides with those who treat African Blacks poorly is nothing but an obtuse statement that exposes NUMSA’s lack of political insight and knowledge of our history. The IFP was founded to protect the interests of the poor and marginalised and has done so since its inception in 1975. Moreover, it was the IFP president Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP who supported the labour movement long before 1975 and long before they had received support from other sectors of our society.
The IFP has publicly said so before, and we repeat it again, that in the interest of the welfare of the workers of Ilanga and the supporters and readers of Ilanga the IFP is hopeful for a speedy resolution to the current impasse at the newspaper.
Statement issued by Prof Christian Themba Msimang MP, IFP deputy secretary general, April 14 2012
Julius Sello Malema
Malema was born and grew up in Seshego, Limpopo, and joined the African National Congress’s Masupatsela at a tender age. He graduated from Mohlakaneng High School in Seshego and in 2010, he completed a two-year diploma in youth development through Unisa. In 2011 he enrolled at that institution for a BA in Communications and African languages, and graduated in March 2016. He founded the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters in July 2013 after his expulsion in 2012 from the ANC. He has been a member of the National Assembly since May 2014.
On encouraging the public to get involved in the nomination of the public protector:
“They must nominate, they must object and they must comment,”…This, he said, would prevent cadre deployment.
Malema on Wednesday said he wanted the public to be closer to the process and monitor it for themselves.
“Politicians have got a tendency to think that, once elected, they must do everything for the public and the public will only be involved during voting after five years. I subscribe to a principle that says voters must follow their vote, they must be involved in the process,” he said
This way, he said, parties would not be able to use their majority vote “against the will of the people”.
The temptation by politicians to get a party cadre deployed should be undermined by public interest, he said.
Once nominated by the committee, the candidate needs to be approved by 60% of the National Assembly.
Malema said they were looking for an independent person who would not be subjective, but apply the law and the Constitution fairly.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema says the public must closely monitor the parliamentary process.
On holding President Jacob Zuma accountable:
After the violence on Tuesday [in May]‚ EFF leader Julius Malema said it was not business as usual and Zuma will never see “peace” during the remainder of his term.
“The only thing that will bring peace here is when Zuma resigns as a sign of respect to constitutional court and constitution‚” said Malema.
Malema said Parliament and Zuma were getting ready to treat the Constitutional Court like they did the Public Protector‚ by ignoring it.
“You render the court useless. The president must be rehabilitated‚” said Malema.
Comments by Julius Malema regarding the Nkandla Constitutional Court case:
“The highest court in the land found that the president has failed to uphold the constitution. And that’s reason enough for the president to step down.”
“We call upon the ANC to do the right thing and to recall the president. We will stop him physically, we will prevent him from speaking. President Zuma is no longer the president of the Republic of South Africa. We are not going to sit back and allow the continuation of the violation of the constitution.”
The EFF, said Malema, didn’t show up at the Constitution Court to preen, because the outcome was “obvious”.
“We are not peace time heroes,” he said, “but people thought we were mad to take the case to the Constitution Court. And now look. Ten judges. We won 10-0. We are conducting our revolution within the confines of the constitution.”
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