​ANC hasn't lobbied about public protector candidate, says parliamentary ad hoc committee chairperson Makhosi Khoza

The search is on for public protector Thuli Madonsela's replacement. Madonsela's term in the position will end on October 1. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The search is on for public protector Thuli Madonsela's replacement. Madonsela's term in the position will end on October 1. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

The chairperson tasked with finding a replacement for public protector Thuli Madonsela is adamant that she has not been lobbied by the ruling party regarding the post.

“Obviously I am a member of the ANC. But in as far as this process is concerned, Luthuli House has not contacted me. Or directed me to speak to anybody whatsoever,” insisted Makhosi Khoza, chairperson of Parliament’s public protector ad hoc committee.

She said the only thing she had been doing was to brief her chief whip about where the process was now. “I have to tell them how the process is going. I have not yet been lobbied and I hope it will stay that way,” she said.

One of the candidates on the list is ANC MP Loyiso Mpumlwana, a member of the justice committee in Parliament.

Khoza said while she was a member of the ANC and believed in its policies, she was only presiding over the process and would not make the final decision. “Investigate me… I am not a pushover,” she said.

She said any person they came up with would have to be fit and proper, and the public have until July 8 to make objections to members.

But an objection would not automatically disqualify candidates. The committee would first have to make sure an objection was valid. Khoza therefore urged those making objections to include their details, so as to validate them.

The list was made public on Tuesday, and there are 59 people vying to fill public protector Thuli Madonsela’s shoes.

This after the list of candidates was whittled down from 73 candidates based on those who declined or did not respond to their nominations, the committee said.

Khoza said seven candidates declined their nominations. These included former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, prosecutor Gerrie Nel and former first lady Graça Machel. 

She added candidates like former president Thabo Mbeki were not formally nominated through the process, but verbally, and therefore were not considered. 

“The Committee is very impressed with the calibre of nominees and applicants received and this is an indication that South Africans thoroughly applied their minds in putting forward their nominees,” she said. 

“The CVs will be released on Parliament’s website. We are all trying to get the best public protector.” – News24

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