Parly shortlists eight candidates for deputy public protector position

The parliamentary committee on justice and correctional services has shortlisted eight candidates to be interviewed for the position of deputy public protector.

The committee met on Wednesday to shortlist the candidates.

The position became vacant late in 2023 when then-deputy public protector, advocate Kholeka Gcaleka, was appointed public protector by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The committee’s chairperson, Bulelani Magwanishe, said the committee received 46 applications and nominations, and two of those withdrew shortly afterwards.

The eight shortlisted candidates are: advocate Sekgame Tebeile, advocate Tommy Aron Bunguzana, advocate Azwidini Victor Mavhidula, advocate Tseliso Schelesenger Thipanyane, advocate Siphokazi Moloshe, Ponatshego Mokgaladi, Lindiwe Mkhize, and advocate Mari Marriot.

Candidates to undergo screening process

According to Magwanishe, the shortlisted candidates will be subjected to a screening process.

He said a list of all the nominations and/or applications received has been made available on the parliament website to give members of the public an opportunity to comment on the candidates’ suitability.

The president appoints the deputy public protector on the National Assembly’s recommendation for a term that the president may determine at the time of the appointment but not longer than seven years.

“The DPP [deputy public protector] may, at the end of his or her term, be reappointed for one additional term. The annual salary for the position is R1 924 542,” said Magwanishe.

The candidate appointed must be a South African and be fit and proper to hold such office, and who:

  • Is admitted as an advocate or an attorney and has, for a cumulative period of at least 10 years after having been so admitted, practised as an advocate or an attorney; or
  • Is qualified to be admitted as an advocate or an attorney and has, for a cumulative period of at least 10 years after having so qualified, lectured in law at a university; or
  • Has specialised knowledge of or experience in, for a cumulative period of at least 10 years, the administration of justice, public administration, or public finance; or
  • Has, for a cumulative period of at least 10 years, been a member of parliament; or
  • Has acquired any combination of experience mentioned in paragraphs (a) to (d) for a cumulative period of at least 10 years.
Role and responsibility of the DPP

Regarding the role and responsibilities of the DPP, the committee heard in a presentation from support staff that the DPP has such powers as the public protector may delegate.

“The committee was reminded that if the public protector is, for any reason, unable to perform the functions of his or her office, or while the appointment of a person to the office of public protector is pending, the DPP shall perform the functions of the public protector.

“The DPP shall also assist the public protector [subject to his or her directions and control] in the performance of the public protector’s functions under the act and the constitution,” said Magwanishe.
He added that the committee agreed that at least 50% of the candidates to be interviewed must be female. The interviews are expected to take place in person on March 12 in parliament.

The redacted CVs of all the candidates who have been nominated are available on the parliamentary website.

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