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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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