The Minister of Police explained the processes that had been followed in reaching the decision to nominate Mr Francois Beukman as the Executive Director for the Independent Complaints Directorate. The Minister noted that he had been the former Chairperson of the Standing Committee of Public Accounts in Parliament and was a qualified attorney. The Committee requested time to assess the documentation and they would meet the following day to take a decision on confirming the appointment.
The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, explained to the committees that, acting in accordance with section 51(1) of the South Africa Police Service Act, he and the selection committee had unanimously agreed to recommend the appointment of Mr Francois Beukman to fill the position of the Executive Director in the Office of the Independence Complaints Directorate (ICD). The selection committee comprised of the Minister of State Security, Mr Siyabonga Cwele, and the Social Development Director General, Mr Vusi Madonsela. In terms of the Act, the Minister has powers to appoint the Executive Director after having consulted with the Parliamentary Committees concerned. The Minister announced that the selection panel followed all the due processes for such appointment, including among other things, placing an advertisement in a national newspaper, screening and short-listing the candidates and carrying out the actual interviews. According to the Minister, this was an appointment which wanted a person who understood the challenges of the ICD, who has a proven leadership record, and one with a clear vision to revamp the ICD. Of all the candidates, only three were shortlisted for interviews, and these were: Mr E Valoyi, Ms S Thokhe and Mr F Beukman. He said that after due consideration, the selection committee was of the view that Mr Francois Beukman was the most suitably qualified candidate for the job and hence his recommendation to the committees for confirmation.
Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) asked the Minister what Mr Beukman’s qualifications were. She also wanted to know if there were any other candidates interviewed for the job and if so, who those other candidates were.
Mr G Schneemann (ANC) asked if Mr Beukman possessed all the qualifications required for the job.
Ms D Schafer (DA) asked what sort of experience Mr Beukman had and also how his experience was going to help him in the execution of his duties.
The Minister noted that all the questions generally sought to know more about the candidate! He explained that Mr Beukman was no stranger to public office. In addition to having served in Parliament as the Chairperson of the Standing Committee of Public Accounts, he was also a qualified attorney.
The Minister also said he was happy to provide the Committee with a document outlining the details of the process followed, including CVs of all the shortlisted candidates.
Mr Schneemann suggested that members be given time to go through the CVs and evaluate the processes followed as contained in the document before taking a decision to confirm or reject the nomination. He suggested the decision be taken in the next committee meeting scheduled for the following day, 6 August 2009. This proposal was largely welcomed by all the members.
Mr D Bloem (COPE) said he personally knew the candidate put forward by the minister and that he had no doubt in his mind that Mr Beukman was the best person for the job. He said there was no need to waste any more time especially considering that the Executive Director appointment was already long overdue. He also expressed confidence in the Minister that he had applied his mind before making the recommendation.
The Chairperson noted Mr Bloem’s comment and said that it was an indication that there was a pressing need to speed-up the process of finalising this appointment.
Ms Schafer (DA) agreed with everyone concerned about the delay and the length of time that this position has gone unfilled, saying having someone in an acting capacity was not doing the department any good.
Rev K Meshoe (ACDP) said while it was important to finalise the matter urgently, it depended upon members having a chance to assess the documentation that led to the nomination, including the CVs of shortlisted candidates.
The Chairperson said the committee secretary would ensure that every member has access to the documentation before the meeting adjourned for the day so that they might be able to meet and take a proper decision on the following day.
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