The advisory panel appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to identify and conduct interviews with suitable candidates for the position of the head of the National Prosecuting Authority, convened for the first time on Monday, 22 October 2018.

The aim of the meeting, according to a statement issued yesterday, was to confirm the mandate of the panel and to determine how it would set about completing its work.

As part of its important task, the panel has undertaken to ensure that shortlisted candidates are appropriately vetted before recommendations are sent to the president for consideration. The panel has also resolved to advertise for nominations and applications in the media, thereby engaging with the public in finding the right person for the job.

Former national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Vusi Pikoli commented that this was a step in the right direction because there was greater transparency. “It gives everybody an opportunity to apply for the post if one believes that he or she should be considered for the position,” he said.

The process will roll out as follows:

23 October 2018: invitation for applications and nominations for fit and proper South Africans who possess legal qualifications for the position of NDPP. The advertisement will be published in the media. Applications and nominations are to be sent to The Presidency, Private Bag x1000, Pretoria, 0001. They may also be hand delivered to the Union Buildings, for attention: Nhlanhla Mshengu and the closing date is 2 November 2018.
2 November 2018: closing date for applications and nominations;
5 to 16 November 2018: shortlisting and interview processes;
19 to 23 November 2018: vetting of shortlisted candidates; and
26 to 30 November 2018: assessment by panel of persons and finalisation of recommendations.

The panel agreed to submit shortlisted names to the president by 7 December 2018. In terms of section 10 of the National Prosecuting Authority Act, the president appoints the NDPP.

The panel is chaired by Energy Minister Jeff Radebe – this is a choice not universally welcomed, given that it was on Radebe’s watch as justice minister that the NPA was compromised. The panel consists of:

  • Mr TK Makwetu (auditor-general of South Africa);
  • Adv BC Majola (chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission);
  • Adv B Roux (General Council of the Bar of South Africa representative);
  • Mr R Scott (Law Society of South Africa representative);
  • Mr L Manye (Advocates for Transformation representative);
  • Mr LB Sigogo (Black Lawyers Association); and
  • Mr M Notyesi (National Association of Democratic Lawyers representative).