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The process of appointing Deputy Public Protector to start afresh

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The process of appointing the Deputy Public Protector will start afresh. That’s the decision of the portfolio committee on Justice and Correctional Services.

This follows legal advice that the participation of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP Busisiwe Mkhwebane during interviews has demonstrated a conflict of interest and bias. That’s after she failed to declare that she knew two of the candidates out of the seven that were interviewed.

They are Adv Shadrack Tebeile who is representing Mkhwebane probono, while Ponatshego Mogaladi works in the office of the Public Protector.

Members of the committee, except Mkhwebane, agree that the process is tainted and is open to possible litigation.

“Unanimous decision! We agree that we will have a report to the house indicating that the process would restart from scratch and in that report to the house, we must indicate as to what led to the process needing to start from the beginning,” says Bulelani Magwanishe, Justice Committee Chairperson.

The committee dismissed Mkhwebane’s argument that there were no forms requiring her to declare, saying she is not obliged to do so.

“I dispute the legal opinion based on facts which are not properly captured,” says Mkhwebane.

The committee says it will submit a report to the House explaining reasons for not finalising its work.

It says it wants to avoid this process being labelled as fruitless expenditure after the institution spent money on transport and accommodate candidates.

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