EFF MP Mbuyiseni Ndlozi. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The parliamentary committee on ­justice and correctional services on Thursday shortlisted eight candidates to be interviewed for the position of deputy public protector.

The ANC nominated five candidates: Sonwabile Mancotywa, ­Kholeka Gcaleka, Puleng Matshelo, Buang Jones and Lwazi Pumelela Kubukeli.

The DA nominated Shadrack Nkuna and Noxolo Mbangeni, while the EFF nominated Moshoeshoe Jeffrey Toba.

The committee received 29 nominations, with three candidates sub­sequently withdrawing, while six did not meet the criteria set.

During the meeting, the EFF’s Mbuyiseli Ndlozi pushed for the removal of Gcaleka, who had served as an adviser to former minister Malusi Gigaba, and also served in the National Prosecuting Authority, from the shortlist.

“There is a name I feel strongly should not be shortlisted,” Ndlozi said.

The DA’s Glynis Breytenbach said there were other names she would have liked to nominate.

“I think we should have an opportunity to nominate other names and we should probe some of them to whittle the number down to eight,” Breytenbach said.

But the ANC’s Qubudile Dyantyi said he did not think it was time to exploit weaknesses in candidates.

Committee chairperson Bulelani Magwanishe said if they had more than eight names, they would have had a discussion and eliminated some until they reached eight.

“So far eight people have been nominated, unless there is a view to add other people,” Magwanishe said.

“Having eight people is not a train smash, because we need one,” he added.

Ndlozi insisted that Gcaleka not be interviewed as issues raised in her history in the various departments at an advisory level were substantial.

“The public protector’s office must inspire ultimate independence and proper judgment in law, and they must pass the highest test,” he said.

“Let’s bring people who are beyond reproach and we don’t have to debate their history of working with ministers,” Ndlozi said.

But ANC MPs would have none of it, saying Gcaleka met the criteria that had been set despite Corruption Watch flagging allegations against her in its submission.

Magwanishe said when an individual was shortlisted, that did not mean he or she would be the deputy public protector.

“I suggest we allow the process to unfold. If we are not convinced that they have responded properly, we are not (going) to appoint them,” he said.

While the ACDP’s Steve Swart said they did not necessarily agree with all shortlisted candidates, they appreciated the process agreed upon.

Political Bureau