The heat is now on in the race for the position of deputy public protector.
The names in the race include Robert McBride, former head of the police watchdog Ipid, advocate Sonwabile Mancotywa (National Heritage Council CEO), the SA Human Rights Commission’s acting head of legal services, advocate Buang Jones, and former ANC MP advocate Loyiso Mpumlwana.
They are among 28 candidates vying for the position, which becomes vacant soon.
Meanwhile, the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services has called for public comments on the names of the 28 applicants or nominees, the majority of whom are advocates.
The open position was recently advertised in the media – an indication that the incumbent, advocate Kevin Malunga, would not stand for a second term.
Malunga appeared to have had enough of his position after he was reportedly not seeing eye to eye with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. The two had allegedly disagreed on crucial decisions and often arrived at contradictory conclusions.
The public protector and the deputy serve seven-year terms. Malunga was expected to finish in early December.
The committee secretary, Vhonani Ramaano, confirmed to Saturday Citizen that Malunga had not applied to serve a second term.
Observers see it as a close contest between Mancotywa, Mpumlwana and Jones.
Both Mancotywa and Mpumlwana have served in ANC structures, including the national and the provincial legislatures, while Mancotywa was once an MEC for sport, arts and culture in Eastern Cape.
Mancotywa’s nomination for the position came from Tembile Yako.
The candidate holds an LLB degree and a post-graduate management qualification.
Mpumlwana was nominated by advocate M Matyumza and Inkosi advocate Mwelo Nonkoyana, and has an LLB with a number of post-graduate law and management qualifications.
Jones had been with the South African Human Rights Council for a long time, having served as its communications head in the Free State and later the commission’s Gauteng head.
He holds a LLM (corporate law) degree and was nominated by Anna Mapaseka Madonsela and Jacob George Mathabathe.
Some said McBride could make an interesting and great deputy public protector, considering his performance as head of Ipid. He has a B Tech (law) degree and a BA in international politics.