Public Protector hopefuls whittled down to 59 nominees

The final list of people, who've confirmed their availability, was published on Parliament’s website.

FILE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Kgothaso Mogale/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Fifty-nine people have declared themselves willing to take over the reins from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, including Judge Siraj Desai and former head of the Asset Forfeiture Unit, Willie Hofmeyr.

The final list of people, who have confirmed their availability, was published on Parliament's website yesterday.

African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP) Makhosi Khoza, who chairs the special parliamentary committee set up to find a replacement for Madonsela, says it will meet early next month to consider drawing up a shortlist of people to interview.

Khoza says it's now up to the public to scrutinise the names and submit comments or objections about the candidates to the committee.

"I think the most important thing is to ensure that this process is as transparent as possible and that all the people who have been nominated are subjected to public scrutiny. After all, this is the Public Protector position."

Names on the list include Chairperson of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), advocate Dali Mpofu and Nelson Mandela's former legal advisor Fink Haysom.

The deadline for commenting on the candidates is Friday the 8 July.

PUBLIC PROTECTOR SELECTION 'MUST BE TRANSPARENT'

Khoza says she hasn't been lobbied by the ANC over a preferred candidate, and hopes it stays that way.

She says she wants the selection process to be as transparent as possible.

"I have not yet been lobbied, and I hope that it stays that way."

Khoza says people have already made an assumption that the ANC would want a lapdog to replace Madonsela, whose term expires in October.

"Ultimately, the person who is going to emerge out of this process will have to find his or her own moral compass and decide; am I going to allow myself to be a puppet, or am I going to be the Public Protector?"

Work on drawing up a shortlist of the 59 candidates will start next month.

To see the full list of persons nominated for the Public Protector post, click here.