While advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane was removed as Public Protector on Monday, the appointment of her successor is still in limbo.
Acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka has been nominated by an ad hoc committee for this position, but her appointment needs to be approved by 60% of the National Assembly.
With all the opposition parties on the ad hoc committee, bar the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), indicating that they will not support her nomination, the African National Congress (ANC) will need all of its members to be present to achieve the threshold.
Initially, it was decided that Gcaleka's nomination would be considered at Monday's physical sitting at the Cape Town City Hall, where the National Assembly voted to remove Mkhwebane. However, it was decided at last week's National Assembly Programme Committee to defer Gcaleka's nomination to a later date, as the 11 September sitting would take very long due to the roll call voting process, where each member was called upon to declare their vote.
The date of 21 September was mooted for Gcaleka's matter, but Secretary to the National Assembly Masibulele Xaso informed the programming committee on Thursday that the Cape Town City Hall would not be available on that date.
Furthermore, several committees have received prior approval to travel, and those members will not be available for a physical sitting.
ANC MP and Deputy President Paul Mashatile's parliamentary counsellor Hope Papo suggested they find another date saying: "I don't think there will be a train smash if we do it on another day."
Democratic Alliance chief whip Siviwe Gwarube agreed that the sitting should be physical, given the requirement of a special majority, for which a hybrid sitting would not be sufficient.
She did caution that the vote should not take place later than what would have been the expiry of Mkhwebane's term on 14 October, as it would "look tardy" if Parliament does not appoint a successor by then.
Economic Freedom Fighters MP Natasha Ntlangwini said when this sitting takes place, they shouldn't only deal with the appointment of the "president's protector", but also consider other matters.
ANC MP and house chairperson Grace Boroto took exception to the term "president's protector" and grumbled:
There is no president's protector here.
"Sorry, the Public Protector," snarked Ntlangwini.
ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina agreed with Gwarube that it should be a physical meeting that takes place before 14 October and supported Ntlangwini's proposal that the House also deal with other matters on the day.
The committee will decide on a date and venue at a future meeting.