The Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee, which will nominate a new Public Protector, met on Tuesday to reveal the results of the suitability screening of each of the eight remaining candidates.
The remaining candidates are Professor Boitumelo Mmusinyane, magistrate Johannah Ledwaba as well as advocates Kholeka Gcaleka, Muvhango Lukhaimane, Tselilo Thipanyane, Lynne Marais, Oliver Josie, and Tommy Ntsewa.
The term of current Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane ends in October.
The State Security Agency (SSA) and the South African Police Service (Saps) found no illicit activities among any of the candidates and the legal qualifications of each of the candidates were verified.
“There were no adverse findings on any of the candidates in the meeting we had and the process was transparent,” said Ad Hoc Committee chairperson Cyril Xaba.
The integrity of the nomination process came under scrutiny following a complaint expressed by former candidate Macbeth Ncongwane, alleging that the process was rushed and a tick-box exercise.
The Committee agreed that it would be necessary to respond to these allegations by detailing the processes that were followed, deliberations, shortlisting criteria and questionnaires applied. Further, the Committee also noted that the remaining eight candidates had the requisite education, skills and experience mixed with the most recommendations.
Ahead of the interviews, which will begin on Wednesday, Xaba shared the unanimous sentiment of the Committee on the time limits for each of the interviews. The Committee agreed that each candidate will be interviewed for one hour and thirty minutes, and each person in the 11-member permanent Committee will have a limit of eight minutes to ask questions and receive answers from each candidate.
The committee suggested that the political events of the past five years have had a severe impact on the Office of the Public Protector and appealed for the nominees to be committed to upholding the constitutional mandate of the office.