THE RACE STARTS NOW
With 242 days to go before Public Protector Thuli Madonsela leaves office, the first step is for Parliament to decide whether the justice committee or an ad hoc committee will oversee the process of appointing her successor. In the past, it has been an ad hoc committee, with each political party being given seats proportional to the number of seats they have in Parliament.
This committee will then call for applications, and once these have been narrowed down to a short list, the committee will conduct public interviews.
Corruption Watch wants the public to be involved as much as possible.
“We will apply to livestream the public interviews that take place in Parliament to ensure that the public has access to these interviews,” Corruption Watch’s Kavisha Pillay said on Friday. “We also hope to set up further ‘public interview’ processes, where the public can interview candidates through social media.”
Pillay says if Parliament tries to deny them access, including to the full list of applicants, they will go to court to force it to open up the process to public scrutiny.
When the committee chooses a candidate, his or her name will be given to Parliament and put to a vote by MPs, and they’ll need at least 60% of the vote.
The nominated candidate will be presented to President Jacob Zuma for approval. “When Parliament makes its recommendation on its preferred candidate to the president, we will be creating an avenue for the public to vote and also make a personal recommendation to the president … [through] online crowd-voting technology,” Pillay said.
“Our hope is that we solicit enough public votes to influence the president’s decision when making the appointment.”
However, with local government elections and what are expected to be fiery debates from opposition parties, there is a chance Parliament will not have made a decision by October 19.
In this case, Madonsela will still have to stand down, but her deputy, Advocate Kevin Malunga, will step in until a permanent appointment is made.
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