The Ad Hoc Committee to Nominate a Person for Appointment as Public Protector met on 12 July to discuss the nominations and applications received now that the deadline of 7 July has passed.

The committee revealed that 53 nominations and 17 applications were put forward. Of these, 38 names made it to the preliminary list – 21 nominations, and 17 applications – whose CVs must now be considered by members. Names submitted for consideration included numerous judges and advocates, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Judge President Dunstan Mlombo, advocates Gerrie Nel, Dali Mpofu, Kate Hofmeyer, and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Deputy Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka, and Prof Tumi Mmusinyane of the North West University law faculty.

Only the latter two made it to the list of 38 for consideration, whereas the first six were part of 32 that did not – but not because they are unsuitable. Committee chairperson Cyril Xaba mentioned that these names had not made it to the final list because they were “invalid” – prompting members to point out that far from being invalid, they had inadvertently not complied with the nomination process because the person who nominated them did not obtain a signed agreement of nomination, a CV, or a copy of qualifications, as was the requirement. The onus was on the nominator not just to make the nomination, but also to inform the nominee of such and ensure that all documentation was submitted – which many of them did not do, thus disqualifying their chosen candidate.

The committee agreed that it was a matter of non-compliance, rather than invalidity, and the 32 names were set aside. The 38 names that remained were agreed to have passed the first step.

The names and redacted CVs of all 38 are available on the parliamentary website for public scrutinisation and vetting until 21 July. The public is invited to comment on the suitability of candidates, measured against the selection criteria, and whether they are fit and proper to occupy the position.

After this the shortlisting will take place.

Forthcoming steps

The ad hoc committee has until 31 August to complete its task and report to Parliament with a name. The programme is as follows, with the first two steps concluded. Step three is in progress:

  • 8 June 2023:                 Consideration of the committee programme and draft advert.
  • 12 June 2023:               Publication of advert through media statement, website, and newspapers.
  • 10-21 July 2023:            Consolidation of information and CVs. Publication of CVs for public comment on website for two weeks.
  • 24-28 July 2023:            Shortlisting of candidates.
  • 1-18 August 2023:         Logistics for interviews and screening of shortlisted candidates.
  • 21-25 August 2023:       Interviews take place in Parliament.
  • 29-31 August 2023:       Committee deliberations and recommendation.