McBride among 28 people who have applied for deputy public protector job

26 September 2019 - 19:10 By Andisiwe Makinana
Former Ipid head Robert McBride is among 28 people who have applied for the deputy public protector position.
Former Ipid head Robert McBride is among 28 people who have applied for the deputy public protector position.
Image: Sunday Times

Former police watchdog boss Robert McBride, the SA Human Rights Commission’s Buang Jones and a former MP are among those who have thrown their names into the hat to become the country’s next deputy public protector.

On Thursday afternoon, parliament published for public comment the names of 28 applicants for the soon to be vacant position.

The list of names confirms that the incumbent deputy public protector Kevin Malunga will not serve a second term.

Malunga’s first seven-year term will end at the beginning of December. The Public Protector Act makes provision for the deputy public protector to serve a second term, but Malunga has not applied for a second stint.

One person who truly wants to serve in that office is former ANC MP Loyiso Mpumlwana. In 2016, then a serving legislator, Mpumlwana applied for the public protector position, but was not shortlisted by the ad hoc committee which was established for the recruitment of the new head of the Chapter Nine institution.

He was serving in the justice and correctional services committee, to which the public protector accounts.

Mpumlwana was one of the MPs who openly supported Busisiwe Mkhwebane and rubbished the calls for her removal from office.

Other candidates are Hendry Pietersen, Sammy Tlhapi, Graehymme Jesus Williams, Phumzile Hubert Songo, Douglas Dumisani Soci, Victor Mavhidula, Hilda Harriet Seapei Mekwa, Daniel Aubrey Dibetso-Prince, Moshoeshoe Jeffrey Toba, Johannes Collen Weapond, Kholeka Gcaleka, Olwethu Majola-Kinyunyu, Indhera Goberdhan, Zarina Kellerman, Sonwabile Mancotywa, Shadrack Nkuna, Noxolo Mbangeni, Dinkie Portia Dube, Leanne Govindsamy, Nkopane Josias Motshele, Shadrack Tebeile, Nobukhosi Thuli Mbatha, Fezeka Magano, Lwazi Pumelela Kubukeli and Puleng Matshelo.

As part of its public comment programme, parliament’s justice and correctional services committee has called on members of the public to comment on the suitability of the candidates before October 16.

The names and CVs of the candidates have been published on the parliamentary website. 

The parliamentary committee has until early December to find a suitable candidate. 

McBride is facing a scathing report by public protector in which he is accused of improperly hiring a cellphone expert to analyse alleged death threats sent to himself and investigators.

The public protector found that Ipid had engaged in procurement irregularities and maladministration when irregularly appointing Theresa Botha as a deputy director of its national specialised investigation team.

McBride has announced that he would be approaching the high court to interdict the implementation of any remedial action directed at him pending a review of the report.