(SubCommittee) PSC Vacancy: Recommendation

Public Service and Administration

20 April 2023
Chairperson: Ms M Mgweba (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


The sub-Committee of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration expressed support for Mr Vincent Magerman as its preferred candidate for the Public Service Commission (PSC) vacancy. In line with Section 196 8(a) of the Constitution, his name will be forwarded to the National Assembly, which will then submit it to the President.

Meeting report

Committee disagreement on absence of Chairperson and inclusion of proxy

The Chairperson welcomed the Members to the meeting and displayed the agenda.

Ms R Komane (EFF) asked why Mr T James (ANC; Committee Chairperson) was absent from the meeting, and why Ms M Ntuli (ANC) had been added to the sub-Committee.

The Chairperson explained that Mr James requested that she (Ms Mgweba) assume the role of Chairperson for the meeting, because he had to attend to family-related matters. On why Ms Ntuli had been added to the sub-Committee, she said that with the absence of Mr James, the ANC caucus agreed that she should represent him.

Ms M Kibi (ANC) moved for the acceptance of the explanations given by the Chairperson on Mr James’ absence and the inclusion of Ms Ntuli in the proceedings. Moreover, she requested that the Committee continue with the agenda items.

Dr M Gondwe (DA) said she was concerned about Mr James’ continued absence from the meeting. Further, she questioned what contribution Ms Ntuli would make to the discussions, as she had not been a part of the process from the beginning. Given the importance of the process, she too felt that Mr James’ absence be addressed by the Committee.

Ms V Malomane (ANC) seconded Ms Kibi’s notion.

Ms Komane believed that Ms Ntuli’s inclusion was unfair and could affect the legitimacy of the Committee’s proceedings. Further, she asked how Ms Ntuli would justify her support for a particular candidate, as she has not been involved in the process from the beginning.

Mr C Sibisi (NFP) argued that Mr James should not have unilaterally appointed Ms Mgweba as the Acting Chairperson for the meeting. The usual procedure of nomination of an Acting Chairperson from Members should have been followed instead. He too opposed Ms Ntuli’s participation in the Committee’s discussions on the basis that she has not been involved in the process from the start.

Ms Kibi appealed to Members that they proceed with the meeting after they received advice from the support staff on the matter, as the Committee had already delayed the deliberations for a month and could not do so again.

The Committee Secretary indicated that the report containing each candidate’s interview was adopted during the Committee’s last engagement. Further, he explained that each Member would propose their two favoured candidates. If the Committee could not decide on its preferred candidate, then a vote would have to take place.

He reminded the Committee that each Member’s motivation for a specific candidate would be in line with their party instruction. As such, Ms Ntuli’s inclusion as a replacement for Mr James was permissible.

Ms Komane rose on a point of order stating that Ms Ntuli could not address the Committee until the matter was resolved.

Dr Gondwe asked for clarity on whether the inclusion of Ms Ntuli would jeopardise the entire appointment process.

Mr Sibisi underlined that all protocols had to be followed to ensure the credibility of the appointment process. Considering this, he requested that the meeting be postponed, which would allow for Mr James time to form part of the proceedings.

Ms Komane highlighted that the purpose of the sitting was not to vote, but to debate on who the best candidate was. Following that, she asked that the Committee obtain legal advice on the inclusion of Ms Ntuli.

Ms Malomane pointed out that all Members had to follow their party’s instructions on who to vote for and why. Ms Ntuli, she added, would most likely have been able to catch up on the proceedings by watching the parliamentary recordings. Based on this, she proposed that the Committee continue with the meeting and finalise the appointment.

Ms Kibi underlined that as Members belonged to party caucuses, they had to toe their party line. She asked that the meeting proceed with its agenda.

Dr Gondwe agreed that the Committee obtain legal advice on the matter.

The Committee Secretary explained that according to the Committee’s rules, a Member from the main Committee could be brought into the sub-Committee if there is an absentee. As such, he advised that the meeting proceed.

Ms Komane again requested that the Committee seek legal advice.

The Chairperson stated that the Committee would proceed based on the advice received from the support staff. The Committee could no longer afford to postpone the discussion, as it had to recommend and submit its preferred name to Parliament.

Dr Gondwe agreed that the Committee continue with its work. However, she asked that the Chairperson follow up on Mr James' continued absence from meetings.

The Chairperson confirmed that she would do so. Thereafter, she requested that the Committee deal with all its outstanding minutes.

Consideration and adoption of 08 March 2023 minutes

The minutes were duly adopted.

Deliberation on candidate to fill vacancy of Public Service Commission (PSC) Commissioner

The Chairperson indicated that the Committee would then deliberate on the recommended candidate to serve as a Commissioner for the PSC.

The Committee Secretary said the Committee received a letter advising that it should recommend two or three candidates at most, with the accompanying reasons for the choice. Based on the State Security Agency (SSA)’s vetting report of each interviewee, he advised that the Committee agreed to recommend only one candidate.

The Chairperson asked that he also take the Committee through the SSA Report.

The Committee Secretary stated that the candidate names were submitted for vetting, a report was compiled and which indicates the status of each candidate. This was provided to the Committee.

Thereafter, the Chairperson opened the floor for discussion.


Ms Kibi proposed that the Committee only identify and recommend one candidate to the President, as there is only one vacancy.

Dr Gondwe agreed with Ms Kibi’s proposal, as the SSA’s report did not flag any noticeable impediment to the appointment of any of the shortlisted candidates.

The Chairperson accepted the proposal.

The Committee Secretary requested that Members identify the name of candidates through a number or letter.

Dr Gondwe also asked whether the ordering of numbers would be based on the candidates’ CVs or the order in which they were interviewed.

The Committee Secretary suggested that the Members utilise the numbering of candidates based on the interview schedule.

Dr Gondwe indicated that her preferred candidate was candidate six (Mr Sifiso Khumalo) as he took a strong stance against officials doing business with the state and he provided the solutions to this issue; his detailed responses on the cost of financial misconduct for the state and the legislative framework on disclosures (which other candidates did not include); the fact that his presentation outlined the mandate of the PSC; his strong education and work experience in monitoring and evaluation (M&E); and his publishing of scholarly contributions.

Ms Kibi expressed her support for candidate five (Mr Vincent Magerman), based on his experience and the way he responded to the questions posed by Members.

Mr Sibisi also expressed support for candidate five, based on his experience, but also to improve the racial diversity of the PSC.

Ms Malomane expressed support for candidate five, who she believed provided good responses to the questions posed by the Committee, and to improve the racial diversity of the PSC.

Ms Komane expressed her support for candidate five, even though he had not adequately responded to the Committee’s question on deviant behaviour. His appointment would also assist in improving the racial diversity of the PSC.

The Chairperson also expressed support for candidate five, based on his responses on how ethics should be entrenched in the public service and the best accounting and M&E practices for the sector.

Thereafter, the Committee Secretary announced that candidate number five was nominated as the Committee’s preferred candidate for the PSC.

Dr Gondwe asked that the Committee note the Democratic Alliance’s objection to the nomination of candidate number five.

Ms Komane commended the Chairperson for only allowing the six Members who had been at the interviews to engage in the discussion. Nonetheless, she asked whether Ms Nthuli would be allowed to speak.

The Chairperson indicated that the Committee would move to adopt its report on the nomination of candidate five to the PSC.

Committee report on recommended candidate to serve on the PSC as a Commissioner

The Committee Secretary mentioned that Ms Ntuli would form part of the collective decision taken by the Committee, and not engage in any discussion. After that, she said the Committee supported Mr Vincent Magerman as their preferred candidate for the vacant Commissioner position. His name would then be forwarded to the National Assembly, in terms of Section 196 8(a) of the Constitution. Thereafter, the President will, after due consideration, appoint him as a Commissioner of the PSC.

The report was duly adopted, with the objection of the DA noted.

The Chairperson thanked the Members and all the Committee support staff for contributing to the work done throughout the process.

The meeting was adjourned.



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