Public participation in the appointment of a new public protector – and other positions that require similar processes – is written into the Constitution. In chapter nine, section 193 (appointment of the public protector or member of any commission established under chapter nine) it states that “(6) The involvement of civil society in the recommendation process may be provided for as envisaged in section 59 (1) (a).”
Section 59, which is found in chapter four, deals with public involvement in the legislative and other processes of Parliament. The National Assembly is the body that decides on the most suitable candidate for public protector and makes that recommendation to the president, who will then appoint the candidate.
The public may not be excluded from that or other processes, unless such exclusion may be justified.
One of the key activities for the Bua Mzansi campaign is to develop a persona of an ideal public protector based on public opinion. We aim to use this persona to inform and guide a public nominations process, as well as to facilitate dialogue on the expectations of a public protector. We hope this persona will be able to guide nominees in their understanding of the roles and responsibilities which they could assume.
Take part in our survey and let us know the qualities that you would like to see in your new public protector. This will help the nomination process by allowing people to exactly match the qualities of potential nominees to the requirements.