Shortlisting of Gambling Board chairperson nominees

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Trade and Industry

26 October 1999
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

29 October 1999

Documents handed out:
Invitation by Minister of Trade and Industry for nominations of persons for appointment as Chairperson of The National Gambling Board as it appeared in Sunday Times (29/899) and Government Gazette No.20432
Fourteen nomination letters submitted to the Minister (email for any further information regarding these nominations)

Six of the fourteen nominees were short-listed for the position of chairperson of the Gambling Board. They were Mr Christiaan Fisma, Mr Richard Honeyborne, Mr Kebane Moloi, Advocate Seth Ntai, Mr M.J. Nwedamutswu and Mr Grant Kaplan.

The chairperson, Mr R Davies, apologised for the misleading title of the meeting in the Order Paper and said that interviews would not be taking place, only the shortlisting of nominees for the interview process would be discussed.

He stated that Mr C Botha, had withdrawn as a nominee and thus 13 nominees remained. He proposed that only about 5 of the nominees be invited for interviews and invited nominations for the shortlist. He was uncertain about whether or not the committee had to make one recommendation of a candidate to the Minister or more than one, but said that this issue was not crucial at this stage as he would only need clarity before the committee met again. The chairperson felt that part of the criteria which he thought would be looked at when choosing a chairperson of the Gambling Board included the fact that the nominee had no financial links to the Board, had business ability and experience, confidence of the community and would not become a prisoner of vested interests.

Shortlisting discussion
Mr Heine from the Democratic Party agreed that there should just be five persons short-listed. He nominated Mr Honeyborne, Mr Fisma, Mr K Maloi, Advocate Ntai and Mr Kaplan.

Mr M Moosa (Chairperson: Select Committee on Economic Affairs) said that he felt Mr Fisma had sufficient experience and had been in the process for a while already. According to Mr Moosa he was definitely an eligible candidate and supported his short-listing.

With regard to Advocate Ntai there was concensus as well that he was suitable. There was some discussion with regard to age. Roelf Meyer of the UDM was concerned that Mr Honeyborne was in his sixties. A member from the ANC felt that age should not even be considered and pointed out that, likewise, a person in his thirties who had all the necessary knowledge and expertise for the job should not be discriminated against on the basis that he was too young. Furthermore he pointed out that there had been heads of state in their eighties.

The issue of the absence of a woman on the shortlist was raised. Female members from the ANC said that whilst they supported affirmative action in this regard, it had to be on merit. In addition they felt that the one woman amongst the 13 nominations, Ms N Hill, was simply not suitable for the position and they did not want to undermine her by nominating her to the shortlist.

With regard to Mr Grant Kaplan, Mr Moosa felt that Mr Kaplan was too connected with the gambling industry and therefore feared that he may have a measure of interest being an attorney representing people in the gambling industry. Mr Moosa also pointed out that Mr Kaplan led the pack in respect of the illegal gambling industry - making big news in respect hereof at some stage in the past.

Ms C September (ANC) felt that since the business of the committee was simply to produce a list of nominees for interviews, there should not be any kind of debate with regard to the nominees as this could clearly prejudice nominees.

A sixth nominee for short-listing was agreed upon during the discussion, namely, Mr M.J.Nwedamutswu. Once there were no more objections or further nominations, the chairperson confirmed the shortlist of nominees as being Mr Christiaan Fisma, Mr Richard Honeyborne, Mr Kebane Moloi, Advocate Seth Ntai, Mr Mamabolo Nwedamutswu and Mr Grant Kaplan. He said that a tentative date of 16 November had been set from 11:00 -13:00 for the interviews of the short-listed nominees. The meeting was subsequently adjourned.



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