Shortlisting for interviews

Appointment to the Commission on Gender Equality

14 February 2017
Chairperson: Ms C Ndaba (ANC)

Meeting Summary

The Committee shortlisted 21 candidates and they will be invited for interviews on 24 and 27 February 2017. The 21 candidates will be submitted for vetting and verification processes as well.

Some of the concerns raised in the meeting included the possible delay in verifying qualifications by Human Resources as well as vetting by Protection Services. The Committee was advised to vet and verify only the shortlisted candidates as Protection Services did not have the budget to include all 83 nominated candidates.

The following are the shortlisted candidates:
Mr Khotsoane Salome
Mr Rakolote Sediko
Mr Jazbhay Saber
Ms Abro Susan
Mr Mthembu Sethembiso
Mr Dikgale Sipho
Adv Sepanya Mogale Nthabiseng
Ms Bibi Khan Suraya
Ms Mfulo Thandiwe
Ms Muthien Bernedette
Ms Mathebula Tamara
Prof Meyersfeld Bonita
Ms Nxumalo Siphiwe
Ms Jafta Nomvulazana
Ms Ntuli Tloubatla Lindiwe
Ms Moleko Nthabiseng
Dr Sukhraj Ely Praveena
Ms Stevens Maziya_Sylvia
Mr Mpontshane Mkhipheni
Ms Joyce Mando Phiri
Ms Semane Thembeka

Meeting report

The Chairperson reminded the Committee that it is undertaking a process of great importance where they will be putting together a team that should live up to the mandate of the Commission for Gender Equity.

Ms P Kekana (ANC) asked if civil society was given an opportunity to comment as agreed by the Committee in the previous meeting.

The Committee Secretary replied that the date for comment from civil society was extended as agreed but there have been no comments submitted by civil society yet. 

Ms T Stander (DA) said she had requested to have the CVs of the candidates vetted and asked for an update as that process was important and non-negotiable. She was glad to note that the DEAFSA CVs were now included in the list of candidates.

The Committee Secretary indicated that four CVs were received from DEAFSA (CV numbers 78, 79, 80, 81) on 23 December 2016 and two other CVs with stamps dated 11 and 20 January 2017 were received last week. These were now included in the list making 83 candidates in total.

The Chairperson noted that the advert was posted only on 8 January 2017 and asked for clarity on the December applications.

Ms P Kekana (ANC) asked what the implications will be for candidates that applied before the official advertisement of 8 January 2017 as this seemed suspicious.

Ms Stander mentioned that the post was advertised twice, first by the Minister of Women which was incorrect procedure; therefore word was out that Parliament was looking for CGE Commissioners and that could be an explanation as to why the applications were forwarded in December.

Ms M Chueu (ANC) said that the Committee told the Minister to withdraw the advertisement and it later agreed as a Committee that people who applied during that period would not be discriminated against and the CVs accepted.

Ms Stander said the Committee is overcomplicating the matter and proposed that members accept the 83 CVs they now had. As long as candidates applied before the closing date, then the CVs should be included.

The Committee agreed to include the CVs.

Mr Herman Tembe, Parliamentary Legal Advisor in the Office of Institutions Supporting Democracy (OISD), noted that currently the Committee had agreed to advertise for four positions. Two of the part-time CGE Commissioners, Ms Sobahle and Ms Ndzimande, have applied to the President to have their part-time status converted to full-time status. In late November Ms Sobahle wrote to the President as well as Parliament and the legal unit office facilitated by writing to the President and to the Commission. The President wrote a letter to the Commission in early January for it to fast track the process. On 30 January, before the outgoing CGE chairperson left, the CGE chairperson wrote to the President that the application of Ms Sobahle should be considered but appointment status is the prerogative of the President. The office of the Legal Unit wrote to the President and there has been no response from the President. Thus it is safe to assume that the status has not changed.

Ms Stander asked which provisions in the Act allow the President to convert part-time Commissioners to full-time. She asked if Sobahle’s application for conversion was approved.

Mr Herman Tembe referred to Section 3(6) of the CGE Act where the President is empowered to change the status of a commissioner from part-time to full-time. In terms of the Act, the Commission has to have 12 members including the chairperson. The current status has been 11 commissioners and the Committee is now in process of recommending the 12th as well as the replacements for the three vacancies that have come due due to the ending of term of office. [Note: There had been 4 part-time and 7 full-time commissioners]

The Chairperson asked when the term of office of the two part-time Commissioners expires as it is important to know.

Ms Stander asked how the President’s decision would impact on the filling of the four vacancies and the work being done by the Committee if he were to approve the conversion of the two part-time candidates to fulltime.

Ms L van de Merwe (IFP) suggested that members continue with the process of choosing the four candidates and leave it to the President to decide who should be appointed fulltime and who part-time.

Mr Herman Thembe mentioned that there are currently 11 Commissioners without taking into consideration the Commissioners whose terms have lapsed. The Ad Hoc Committee now has the duty to fill the last Commission vacancy and it will then complete the number of Commissioners. Ms Sobahle and Ndzimande’s terms lapse in 2018. The impact on the work done does not change because vacancies still remain, and these are four vacancies which need to be filled. 

Ms Stander wanted clarity on her question on the two part-time commissioners. If the President wakes up and decides to approve the application, would that mean two of the four vacancies had been filled?

Ms J Maluleke (ANC) suggested that the Committee continues with the work as planned and address part-time or full-time status afterwards.

Members agreed.

A Committee Section official raised a concern that the Committee Section administration had. Looking at the interview dates agreed upon by the Committee, it realised that there is insufficient time granted to candidates coming for interviews as it gives candidates only two days to prepare. It would be reasonable to grant the candidates five days as some candidates have to travel from faraway. She suggested that the vetting process happen in a space of seven days so that the work is done thoroughly and have the interviews in the first and second week of March 2017. The Protection Unit had said that there are not enough funds to vet all 83 CVs and it had advised that the Committee focus on vetting the shortlisted candidates only.

Ms Majeke (UDM) suggested that the Committee should shortlist candidates and then have their qualifications checked and begin the vetting process.

Ms P Kekana (ANC) agreed with Ms Majeke and proposed asking for an extension to allow for the verification of qualifications and for Protection Services to vet the shortlisted candidates.

The Committee agreed to an extension of the interview dates and writing to Parliament to request an extension until 15 March 2017.

The Committee agreed to interview five candidates for each position which would be 20 shortlisted candidates in total. The Chairperson reminded members that the CGE chairperson would still need to be appointed and so members have to be mindful of that. Committee members should be disciplined during the interviews and stick to the time allocated to ask questions and the time allocated for candidates to respond.  Any speaker whose time has lapsed will be cut off as there will be a timekeeper.

For the purpose of shortlisting, the Committee agreed to use the number assigned to the candidate instead of the actual name since the meeting was being recorded.

Ms van de Merwe suggested that members allocate 45 minutes per interview instead of an hour and agree that members do not all ask questions as that would prolong the interview and disadvantage candidates scheduled to be interviewed later in the day.

Mr T Manyoni (ANC) suggested that members proceed with the shortlisting and discuss the interview process and preparations at a later stage.

Shortlisting
Committee members were allowed to read out the number of each candidate that they proposed for interviews. The Committee officials were allowed 15 minutes to consolidate the numbers.

The number of candidates nominated by the Committee was 38. The candidates were as follows:
Candidate #3: 1 nomination
Candidate #4: 8 nominations
Candidate #5: 1 nomination
Candidate #6: 5 nominations
Candidate #10: 1 nomination
Candidate #12: 3 nominations
Candidate #13: 2 nominations
Candidate #14: 2 nominations
Candidate #17: 4 nominations
Candidate # 19: 1 nomination
Candidate # 20: 5 nominations
Candidate #21: 2 nominations
Candidate #22: 3 nominations
Candidate #23: 7 nominations
Candidate # 26: 4nominations
Candidate # 27: 2 nominations
Candidate # 28: 3 nominations
Candidate #30: 1 nomination
Candidate # 35: 1 nomination
Candidate #43: 2 nominations
Candidate #46: 2 nominations
Candidate #47: 5 nominations
Candidate #48: 3 nominations
Candidate #49: 2 nominations
Candidate #54:1 nomination
Candidate #57: 1 nomination
Candidate# 60: 9 nominations
Candidate #62: 5 nominations
Candidate #65: 5 nominations
Candidate #69: 3 nominations
Candidate #70: 2 nominations
Candidate #76: 1 nomination
Candidate #77: 9 nominations
Candidate #78: 1 nomination
Candidate #79: 1 nomination
Candidate #80: 3 nominations
Candidate #81: 1 nomination
Candidate #82: 5 nominations

The minimum threshold of three was used to determine the candidates for interview. There were 18 candidates who had three or more nominations, leaving Committee members to discuss among themselves and choose the last two interviewees.

The Committee was given five minutes to caucus and nominate the two candidates. The Committee was to choose from the candidates that had received two nominations.

Ms van de Merwe suggested adding one more candidate if two is used as a threshold for the sake of fairness.  The members agreed to have 21 candidates.

The final shortlist for interviews is as follows:
Candidate CV No 4, 6, 12, 13, 17, 20, 22, 23, 26, 28, 47, 48, 49, 60, 62, 65, 69, 70, 77, 80, 82.
Mr Khotsoane Salome
Mr Rakolote Sediko
Mr Jazbhay Saber
Ms Abro Susan
Mr Mthembu Sethembiso
Mr Dikgale Sipho
Adv Sepanya Mogale Nthabiseng
Ms Bibi Khan Suraya
Ms Mfulo Thandiwe
Ms Muthien Bernedette
Ms Mathebula Tamara
Prof Meyersfeld Bonita
Ms Nxumalo Siphiwe
Ms Jafta Nomvulazana
Ms Ntuli Tloubatla Lindiwe
Ms Moleko Nthabiseng
Dr Sukhraj Ely Praveena
Ms Stevens Maziya_Sylvia
Mr Mpontshane Mkhipheni
Ms Joyce Mando Phiri
Ms Semane Thembeka

They would be notified about the interviews taking place on 24 and 27 February 2017. The Committee agreed to sending invitations to the candidates that day. The 21 candidates will be submitted for vetting and verification processes.

The Committee secretary noted that candidate number 40 wrote to withdraw his or her application.

The Committee agreed to meet on 23 February 2017 to prepare for the interviews as well as look at the vetting and qualification verification results of the candidates. Some members suggested the vetting process might take longer and might not be completed by the 23 February and so Members were open to the idea of receiving the vetting report a bit later.

The Chairperson thanked Members and noted the 15 February meeting was cancelled as the Committee had completed the shortlisting process.

The Committee adopted the minutes of 7 February 2017

The meeting was adjourned.