Speech on the report on the recommendation of a person for appointment as Deputy Public Protector
Speech by ACDP MP, Steve Swart

Issued by the ACDP Parliamentary Media Office

Fatally-flawed process to elect Deputy Public Protector must start afresh

May 9, 2024

House Chair,

The office of the Public Protector has the power as regulated by national legislation to investigate any conduct in state affairs in the public administration or any sphere’s government that is alleged or suspected to be improper or to result in any impropriety or prejudice.

Now, former Chief Justice Moegeng Moegeng, in a judgment, stated that the Public Protector is quote, “the embodiment of the biblical David defending the public against the well-resourced Goliath, that  impropriety and corruption by government officials are. The Public Protector is one of the true crusaders and champions of anti-corruption and clean governance.”

This indicates how important it is when one appoints the Public Protector as well as the Deputy Public Protector. Their appointment must be above reproach.

The ACDP is in agreement that the involvement of the EFF member resulted in the process being fatally flawed, this as a result of legal advice being obtained as well as the DA’s objection. We are in agreement that sadly, although it is regrettable that the interviews were conducted and that this is to the detriment of the candidates that were interviewed, that the process must be started afresh as it is fatally flawed. 

We are also in agreement with the Report’s recommendation that the rules need to be amended in the next Parliament for a process to compel a Member to withdraw from any matter should the facts support the reasonable apprehension of bias and any other appropriates that may be required.

The ACDP also wishes to thank Legal Services of Parliament for their services over many, many years. We want to thank them for their excellent professional services. We reject unfounded criticism of their services. We might not always agree with their legal views but that is part for the course — wherever you have as many lawyers, you have different views. But we do not think it is appropriate for aspersions to be cast on them when they are not able in Parliament to defend themselves and we will then stand up for their good name.

I thank you. 

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