The following candidates were interviewed for the position of Public Protector:
Professor Mzamo Alexander Gumbi
Mr Loyiso Khanyisa Bunye Mpumlwana
Mr Mhlaliseni Michael Mthembu
Advocate Linda Pienaar
Thereafter, the meeting was closed to the public so that the Committee could reach a decision. Having deliberated, the Committee “unanimously” recommended that Ms Thulisile Nomakhosi Madonsela be appointed the next Public Protector. The National Assembly will meet to approve this on Tuesday, 22 September 2009.
Candidates were asked the following questions:
• They were asked to give a brief background of themselves, who they were and what work experience they had.
• Why were they interested in becoming the Public Protector?
• What experience, expertise and strengths would they bring to the Office of the Public Protector?
• Did they have knowledge of court procedures?
• Was there any reason why the Committee should doubt their nomination?
• Did they have any practical legal experience and at what level was this?
• Had they made any observation or taken interest in what was happening in the Office of the Public Protector since it was introduced?
• How would they improve the Office of the Public Protector?
• What were their views on the recent SANDF strike action?
• In their previous employment, did they have people who reported to them and what management style would they adopt if they were appointed?
• What were their views about the recently launched President’s hotline?
• What was the extent of public awareness on the role of the Office of the Public Protector and the services that it provided?
• What would they do to ensure that people accessed the Public Protector?
• They were asked to comment on whether the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) was fulfilling its mandate.
• They were asked whether the Office of the Public Protector had the authority to investigate a complaint levelled against another Chapter 9 institution.
• How would they react if their decisions were opposed by some colleagues in the Office of the Public Protector? Related to that, they were asked how they would handle disputes with and between subordinates.
• How would they resolve complaints made by the public?
• Did they view it as a necessary limitation or a constraint that the Public Protector could not litigate unlike the SAHRC?
• They were asked how they would they ensure the independence of the Public Protector from any political party influence
[Refer to the audio for the full interview]
After the end of the interviews, the meeting was closed to the public so that the Committee could reach a decision about the final choice of a candidate. Having deliberated, the Committee “unanimously” recommended that Ms Thulisile Nomakhosi Madonsela be appointed the next Public Protector (see Committee Report). Her name would be referred to the National Assembly for approval on Tuesday, 22 September 2009.
The proceedings were adjourned.
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