The New Public Protector, 28 June 2016

On 28th June 2016, the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO), in collaboration with the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) hosted a roundtable discussion on “The New Public Protector”. The guest panellists included Dr Makhiso Khoza- Chair of the Ad-Hoc Committee on the Appointment of the New Public Protector; Ms Kavisha Pillay- Project Manager of Corruption Watch’s ‘Bua Mzansi campaign’; and Mr Gary Pienaar- senior research manager in the Democracy, Governance and Service Delivery Programme (a project under the umbrella of the Human Science Research Council – HSRC).

This event sought to cover and meaningfully discuss the processes employed by the ad-hoc committee in selecting South Africa’s new Public Protector, a seat that plays an imperative role in strengthening our fledgling democracy. Issues pertaining particularly to public participation in the abovementioned process were raised- what role the public should play, how it should engage Parliament, and how much influence its opinion actually carries were discussed. Dr Khoza emphasised the importance of the contributions submitted by civil society, and ensured that the committee was taking- and will continue to take- the former’s points, research, surveys, and suggestions seriously. She also made clear that the interviews still to be conducted would be broadcast for the public to view. Gary Pienaar and Kavisha Pillay spoke largely to public perception of the Office of the Public Protector, and highlighted core values, skills and knowledge the individual, who will eventually occupy the seat, must embody. In all, the event was well attended by parliamentary researchers and content advisors, media, the diplomatic corps and civil society.

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L-R: Dr Makhiso Khoza; Mr Gary Pienaar; Ms Kavisha Pillay; and Fr Peter-John Pearson

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