The Ad Hoc Committee on Filling of Vacancies in the Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) deliberated on the names of interviewed candidates. The Committee was initially briefed by the State Security Agency on the vetting and screening of candidates. The recording of this session was closed to the media and the public.
The Committee noted that the screening process was done for all 21 shortlisted candidates. The vetting process will however be done for the candidates that will be recommended by the Committee to the President. Further, the Committee stated that there is a need for Parliament to look into developing an appropriate mechanism to screen candidates that are nominated for appointment as public office-bearers to independent constitutional institutions.
Afterwards, the Members deliberated on the candidates, with each party stating their preferances. At the end of the process, they arrived at 6 candidates who received the most votes. The six nominees are Tamara Euginia Mathebula, Nthabiseng Moleko, Sediko Daniel Rakolote, Nthabiseng Sepanya Mogale, Sethembiso Promise Mthembu, and Praveena Sukhraj-Ely.
The Chairperson welcomed all present in the meeting. She stated that the State Security Agency (SSA) was invited to brief Members on the vetting and screening process of candidates which was something they needed clarity on because some of the interviewed candidates have judgments and criminal convictions against their names. These issues raised concerns for the Committee and some of the interviewed candidates were not aware of such and disputed allegations, and wanted their names to be cleared.
The Chairperson said that initially the Committee had requested for the vetting of shortlisted candidates but was subsequently informed that vetting is an intensive process. Therefore, shortlisted candidates had undergone a screening process, not a vetting process. The Committee acknowledged that it is the potential employer’s responsibility to undertake vetting of candidates. When the Committee was earlier briefed by the SSA on the difference between the screening and vetting processes it emerged that there was a difference between the two. The screening process was done for all 21 shortlisted candidates. The vetting process will however be done for the candidates that will be recommended by the Committee to the President. Also, the vetting process is not the mandate of the Committee but rather that of the employer.
Therefore, the Committee is of the view that there is a need for Parliament to look into developing an appropriate mechanism to screen candidates that are nominated for appointment as public office-bearers to independent constitutional institutions. The Committee also noted gaps in terms of vetting and security clearance and recommended that the Portfolio Committee on Police, Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry and Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration as well as Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation should look at how to improve the systems of vetting and security clearance work in order to have a comprehensive approach and should include issues related to people with disabilities.
The Committee agreed to close the briefing by SSA as these matters can not be discussed in front of the public. The Committee met behind closed doors for 20 minutes and the recording of this session was closed to the media and the public.
The Chairperson requested the content adviser to clarify the process of today’s meeting to the Committee
Ms Kasifa Abrahams, Content Adviser said that in today’s meeting Members will be selecting the names they will be recommending to the President for the vacancies that exist at the CGE. Members will nominate numbers of candidates they think are the best for the position of commissioner at CGE.
Ms T Stander (DA) nominated numbers: 65; 69; 17 47; 77; and 62.
Ms L Van Der Merwe (IFP) selected numbers: 65, 69; 77; 47; and 17.
Ms R Morutoa (ANC) selected numbers: 6; 4; 47; 22; and 69.
Ms B Maluleke (ANC) selected numbers: 22; 47; 65; 20; and 62.
Ms N Tarabella-Marchesi (DA) selected numbers: 65; 69; 17; 77; 47; and 62.
Ms Khawula (EFF) selected numbers: 17; 65; 47; 22; 6; and 26.
Ms Majeke (ANC) selected numbers: 22; 6; 47; 17; and 20.
Mr Manyoni (ANC) selected numbers: 65; 6; 22; 47; 17; and 26.
Ms P Kekana (ANC) selected numbers: 22; 65; 6; 47; 70; and 23.
Ms W Niewouldt-Druchen (ANC) selected numbers: 65; 47; 20; 6; 69; and 22.
Chairperson selected numbers: 22; 65; 6; 4; and 26.
Ms Abrahams said that the highest votes selected by Members are numbers 47 and 65 with 10 votes each. Numbers 6 and 22 both received 8 votes, number 17 received 6 votes and number 69 received 5 votes. And all the other numbers received less than 3 votes.
The Chairperson said that the six names will be recommended to the President for appointment. The consideration and adoption of the draft report will be finalised in their next meeting.
The six nominees are Tamara Euginia Mathebula, Nthabiseng Moleko, Sediko Daniel Rakolote, Nthabiseng Sepanya Mogale, Sethembiso Promise Mthembu, and Praveena Sukhraj-Ely.
The Chairperson thanked Members of the Committee for their inputs, the support staff for hard work, and the media for its co-operation in terms of the whole process.
The meeting adjourned.
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