ACT210805: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police Interview Panel on the interviews for the candidates for the Critical Infrastructure Council on 8-10 June 2021, dated 29 July 2021
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police Interview Panel on the interviews for the candidates for the Critical Infrastructure Council on 8-10 June 2021, dated 29 July 2021
The appointment process for ten private sector and civil society members of the Critical Infrastructure Council was referred to the Portfolio Committee on Police by the Speaker on 2 February 2021 (ATC No: 8, 2021) for consideration and report.
The Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, (8 of 2019) was assented to and promulgated by the President on 28 November 2019. The Act replaced the old National Key-Points Act (102 of 1980).
The process for Parliament to nominate ten members of the private and civil society sectors are contained in section 4(7) of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act as follows:
(7) The Speaker must refer the matter to the relevant committee of the National Assembly to:
(a) publish a notice in the Gazette and in at least two national newspapers circulating in the Republic, inviting applications from interested persons and members of the public to nominate persons;
(b) compile a shortlist of not less than 20 persons who are not disqualiﬁed in terms of section 5(a), (c), (d), (e), (f) or (g), from the applications and nominations referred to in paragraph (a) or persons serving on the Council who qualify for a further appointment in terms of subsection (10);
(c) submit the list referred to in paragraph (b) to the State Security Agency for consideration and issuing of a top secret security clearance;
(d) conduct interviews with the persons referred to in paragraph (b) who are not disqualiﬁed in terms of section 5(b) for purposes of compiling a list of 10 recommended candidates in order of preference;
(e) submit the list of names referred to in paragraph (d) to the National Assembly for approval; and
(f) submit the approved list of names contemplated in paragraph (e) together with their résumés to the Minister.
The Minister must in terms of Section 4(8) appoint five members to the Council from the list provided by Parliament and publish their names in the Gazette.
3. The Process followed
The Committee compiled an advert and placed it in in major newspapers with a closing date of 22 February 2021.
The Committee received 42 applications of which two applicants did not meet the deadline, one passed away during the period since applying and the shortlisting process. A total of 37 applicants met the minimum requirements. In its meeting held on 13 April 2021, the Committee was briefed on the qualifications, experience of the applicants and the process for the interviews.
The Committee finalised a list of twenty candidates for interviews on 13 April 2021 and the Committee wrote to the Speaker’s Office to facilitate the vetting by the State Security Council of the twenty applicants for the Critical Infrastructure Council on 14 April 2021.
The Interview panel consisted of the following Members:
Hon T. Joemat-Pettersson (ANC)(Chair)
Hon M. Shaik-Emam (NFP)
Hon. O. Terblanche (DA)
Hon. L Moss (ANC)
Hon. N. Peacock (ANC)
Hon. H. Shembeni (EFF)
Hon. K. Meshoe (ACDP)
Hon. Z. Majozi (IFP)
4. Vetting and Legal Opinion
The Committee provided the final list of 20 candidates to the State Security Agency for vetting and the Human Resources Division to check on their qualifications during the month of May. All candidates were vetted and one was flagged for a possible criminal record and two for bad debt management. The Committee engaged the Legal Division to consider the approach the Committee should adopt when considering the criminal record and bad debt management.
The Legal Opinion averred that where a person has a criminal record:
“… it would be reasonable for the Committee to exclude the candidates with a criminal record and who were sentenced to imprisonment without an option of a fine.
This is a specific disqualification in terms of section 5 of the Act.
Despite this, the legal opinion indicated that as far as the bad debt management was concerned,
“Where a person has a bad debt management record and even a debt judgment in their name but have not been declared as insolvent by a court order and pending rehabilitation from their insolvency, such a person may be appointed onto the Council. The Act does not disqualify such a person from appointment onto theCouncil.”
As a result, the Interview Panel decided to continue with the interviews and did not appoint the person with the criminal record.
5. The Interviews
The interviews were conducted over three days between 8 -10 June 2021 in Parliament and prior to the interviews, one candidate withdrew his participation because he found suitable employment. Two other candidates also withdrew on the first day of the interviews in view of them also finding suitable employment.
The Interview Panel interviewed 17 candidates as a result. One candidate became ill on the first day and the panel had to arrange for a virtual interview on the last day of interviews on 10 June 2021.
6. Candidates nominated to the Minister
The Interview Panel recommended the following ten candidates to be nominated for approval by the full Portfolio Committee on Police and to the Minister of Police:
1. Adv. Lufuno Khorommbi
2. Mr Willie Renier Du Preez
3. Ms Keletso Lefothane
4. Mr Grant Son
5. Mr. Richard Zita
6. Dr Vincent Mello
7. Mr Nkhangweni Rambau
8. Dr Patience Mbava
9. Mr Eugene Van Rooyen
10. Ms Nomabandla Silinyana
Report to be considered.
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