South Africa

Prominent candidates shortlisted to chair National Lotteries Commission

Former IEC commissioner Terry Tselane, human rights lawyer and academic Barney Pityana and former presidency DG Rev Frank Chikane have been shortlisted for the position of the chairperson of the National Lotteries Commission (NLC).

Tselane appears to be a front-runner, as his name was the only one put forward by MPs from four of the five political parties represented in the portfolio committee on trade and industry, which is responsible for recruiting an NLC chairperson.

Pityana, Beryl Ferguson and Gugulethu Xaba's candidacy was supported by three.

The committee shortlisted eight candidates for the position, which became vacant when former chairperson Prof Alfred Nevhutanda's term ended on November 30.

The eight will be interviewed on March 1 after screening and security checks are   completed.

The committee said it will make their CVs public to allow the public to have a say before March 1.

The process of finding a new chairperson has not been without controversy.

Trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel kicked off the recruitment process by referring a list of nominated candidates to National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise last November, requesting that a relevant parliamentary committee recommend a preferred candidate that he could appoint.

Patel, after advice from an independent shortlisting panel, also identified three prominent South Africans from the nominations — former public protector Thuli Madonsela, Chikane and Pityana for consideration. Madonsela withdrew from the process, citing a busy schedule.

The EFF objected to the process, questioning Patel's role in what it said should be a parliamentary process. Parliament's legal advisers agreed that the shortlisting of nominated candidates was the job of the parliamentary committee.

On Friday, MPs provided their shortlist from the 41 names Patel had referred to Modise.

The shortlisted names are: Terry Tselane, Nyameko Barney Pityana, Beryl Ferguson, Gugulethu Xaba, Muthuhadini Madzivhandila, Frank Chikane, Ashwin Trikamjee and Themba Dlamini.

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