Molefe Seeletsa

By Molefe Seeletsa

Digital Journalist

Parliament shortlists eight candidates for R1.9m deputy public protector position

The shortlisted candidates will be subjected to a screening process.

Parliament has moved on to the next step in finding a replacement for former Deputy Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka.

The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services met on Wednesday to shortlist potential candidates after the closure of application cycle.

An advertisement calling for nominations from the public, and applications from eligible candidates was published earlier this month and closed after two weeks.

ALSO READ: Public Protector: Is Kholeka Gcaleka a Busi or a Thuli?

The deputy public protector position became vacant after Gcaleka was appointed as the head of the Chapter 9 institution by President Cyril Ramaphosa in November 2023.

Her appointment was based on a recommendation by the National Assembly.

Gcaleka succeeded Busisiwe Mkhwebane after her impeachment last September.

Candidates shortlisted

On Wednesday, MPs picked eight eligible candidates, four women and four men, who will be interviewed for the job, which comes with an annual salary of R1.9 million.

The full list of candidates to be interviewed:

  • Shadrack Tebeile
  • Tommy Bunguzana
  • Azwidini Mavhidula
  • Tseliso Thipanyane
  • Siphokazi Moleshe
  • Ponatshego Mogaladi
  • Lindiwe Mkhize
  • Mari Marriott

The parliamentary committee received 46 applications and nominations, with two individuals opting to withdraw shortly thereafter.

The committee’s chairperson, Bulelani Magwanishe said the eight candidates would be subjected to a screening process to check whether they meet the minimum requirements.

“The legislation is quite clear especially on the minimum 10 years,” Magwanishe said.

The screening process is expected to be carried out by the State Security Agency (SSA) as previously done when the committee looked for a new Public Protector in 2023.

Parliament’s human resources department could also be roped in to verify qualifications, while the South African Police Service (Saps) conducted background checks on the candidates’ criminal history.

READ MORE: ‘She should’ve kept quiet’: Mkhwebane slams ’embarrassing’ Gcaleka

The committee agreed to conduct in-person interviews in Parliament on 12 March.

Once the interviews are completed, the committee will deliberate on which best candidate to pick for the position.

The candidate recommended by the committee will have to be approved by the National Assembly.

Only thereafter, the selected name will be sent to the president for appointment not exceeding seven years in office.

The deputy public protector may at the end of their term be reappointed for one additional term.

Watch the meeting below:

Who qualifies?

To be eligible for the deputy public protector position, candidates must be South African citizens, deemed fit and proper to take office.

According to the Public Protector Act, a candidate must be an advocate or attorney with at least 10 years experience or be qualified for admission as an advocate or attorney with lecturing experience in law at a university for more than a decade as well.

The candidate must also possess specialised knowledge or experience in the administration of justice, public administration, or public finance and has served as a Member of Parliament for at least 10 years.


The committee was briefed on the role and responsibilities of the deputy public protector by support, staff member, Gill Nesbritt.

In the presentation, Nesbritt told MPs that the deputy public protector had such powers as the public protector may delegate.

READ MORE: Best thing Gcaleka can do is restore the public trust

She also reminded the committee that if the public protector was, for any reason, unable to perform the functions of their office, or while the appointment of a person to the office of public protector was pending, then the deputy public protector shall perform those functions.

The deputy public protector shall further assist the public protector (subject to his or her directions and control), in the performance of the public protector’s functions under the Act and the Constitution.

Kholeka Gcaleka / Busisiwe Mkhwebane / Public Protector
Source: Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services

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