WHO’S ON THE LIST TO REPLACE THULI?
Madonsela’s deputy, high court judge Desai and EFF leader Mpofu on list for nomination for new Public Protector
Top advocates Vusi Pikoli and Dumisa Ntsebeza have turned down nominations to throw their hats into the ring to be the next Public Protector, but Willie Hofmeyr, the deputy national director of public prosecutions, Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai and former Consumer Commission head Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi have confirmed acceptance. Parliament had received 57 names by Friday’s deadline. Also in the running is ANC MP Loyiso Mpumlwana, who sits on Parliament’s justice portfolio committee and who has been hostile in his interactions with incumbent Thuli Madonsela whenever she appears before that committee.
“They asked me and I accepted the nomination,” he told City Press this week.
Desai told the Cape Argus this week that he had accepted the nomination.
Deputy Public Protector Kevin Malunga, whose nomination was confirmed last week by Parliament’s ad hoc committee to nominate the new Public Protector, is another candidate expected to be a strong contender.
City Press has also learnt that advocate Dali Mpofu, the Economic Freedom Fighters’ national chairperson, has thrown his name in the hat. Attempts to obtain comment from Mpofu proved futile.
Madonsela’s seven-year term as Public Protector is not renewable, according to section 183 of the Constitution.
Her distinguished term has won her admiration in the country, but has created anxiety that parliamentarians might settle for a less independent new Public Protector.
Ntsebeza told City Press he declined nomination for the position to focus on representing the families of the 34 Marikana mine workers who were killed by police in 2012.
“By the time the Public Protector is appointed, it might just be the time when we have to lock heads with the government parties and my sense was that I owe a duty more to those people.”
Pikoli announced on Twitter on Friday that while he acknowledged all nominations for Public Protector, he was declining the nomination.
Mohlala-Mulaudzi confirmed to City Press that she had accepted the nomination.
Hofmeyr, whose supporters have started a Facebook group called Support Willie Hofmeyr for Public Protector, told City Press that he accepted the nomination and was aware of the group lobbying for him.
City Press has learnt that Pikoli threw his weight behind Hofmeyr, as has retired Judge Zak Yacoob, former Cabinet minister Barbara Hogan, and former ANC deputy secretary-general and now ambassador Thenjiwe Mtintso and others.
Corruption Watch has lobbied for a strong public participation process, which gets under way after the names of the nominees are released.
It could be a high-pressure time as MPs are on the campaign trail. Interviews are set down for the middle of August after a shortlisting process.
The ad hoc committee must finalise its nomination process by the end of August and two-thirds of the National Assembly must adopt the preferred name, which will be forwarded to President Jacob Zuma for formal appointment.
Judge Siraj Desai Dali Mpofu WIllie Hofmeyr MamodupI Mohlala-Mulaudzi