Mkhwebane for Public Protector, will she take the seat?
Parliament’s ad hoc committee to nominate a candidate for Public Protector has chosen Busisiwe Mkhwebane as the final nominee in the race to succeed Thuli Madonsela at the chapter nine institution in October.
The decision means that her name will be submitted to the National Assembly. If her name is agreed to by a majority in the house‚ the name will be passed on to President Jacob Zuma to finalise the appointment.
In an afternoon meeting on Wednesday the ad hoc committee picked the little known candidate over high court judges and other internationally acclaimed legal minds. Her experience includes time as a director in the Department of Home Affairs and a senior investigator in the office of the Public Protector.
Her selection came despite committee members’ misgivings about politicisation of the State Security Agency‚ which she worked for and information that opposition members received that she could be a preferred candidate for Zuma.
The committee named each of the final five candidates and debated each candidate at length before Mkhwebane’s name and that of Pension Funds Adjudicator Muvhango Luhkaimane faced the least opposition.
ANC MPs won out when they said South Gauteng High Court Judge Sherise Wiener was not as experienced a judge as Western Cape High Court Judge Siraj Desai. However‚ the DA got their way in getting the ANC favourite Desai out of the way.
EFF leader Julius Malema said while he was concerned at the information received that she was a Zuma candidate‚ he was comfortable with endorsing her because Zuma would not be president permanently and the office of the Public Protector would expose her if she proved partisan.
The process to select the next Public Protector started before Parliament local government election recess and took place under unprecedented public scrutiny with Corruption Watch drumming up a massive awareness campaign.