Parliament’s ad hoc committee, set up to oversee the nomination process to appoint a new Public Protector, has received 21 names – with some even wanting Thuli Madonsela to stay – committee chairperson Makhosi Khoza said on Wednesday.
Nominations were also received for Madonsela’s deputy Kevin Malunga, she said.
“We think its a good thing that people have indicated that they would have loved her to continue, but unfortunately the Constitution would not allow that,” said Khoza, referring to the seven-year limit on the position.
Madonsela’s rollercoaster term ends in October, and the committee is still inviting nominations and applications for the hot seat until Friday June 24.
All of the nominations had come from individuals, and were of a high calibre, but Khoza would not reveal who they were, apart from mentioning the nominations of Madonsela and her deputy.
“We are going to have a difficult time deciding who is going to be shortlisted,” said Khoza. “They are all very competent individuals and we are going to have to manage that process very, very carefully.”
All the candidates would go through a thorough verification process and security vetting.
“We must satisfy ourselves that we have done everything in our power to get the best person out of all that we have.”
The committee would meet about 10 days after the June 24 cut-off date to discuss the candidates, and their names would be published on Parliament’s website and on social media, with an invitation for comment and objections.
No nominations had come from political parties and, so far, no Members of Parliament had been nominated or applied.
Not all of the nominated candidates’ names were accompanied by a note to say they had accepted the nomination, so a team had been set up to contact them to find out if they were willing to stand.
The shortlist of candidates would be tabled in Parliament by the end of August.
Ideally, the new Public Protector would be in office by November 1, but this depended on other factors. The chosen candidate might have to give notice at their current place of work, and Parliament might not get the required 60% – 240 votes – in a sitting to confirm the candidate.
She acknowledged receiving a request by Corruption Watch to extend the date for nominations and applications, but said the committee wanted to stick to its deadlines.