Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane was on Wednesday night officially nominated to succeed Adv Thuli Madonsela as Public Protector.
She needed 240 votes (60% of the National Assembly) in order to be nominated‚ and she ended up gaining 263 votes.
Her name will now be forwarded to President Jacob Zuma for appointment.
The ANC and all major opposition parties except the Democratic Alliance and the Congress of the People supported her appointment.
Dr Makhosi Khoza‚ ANC MP and chairperson of the ad hoc committee tasked with appointing the public protector‚ said the process was democratic and was characterised by much public input.
Khoza said 78 people were nominated‚ and then 14 candidates were shortlisted‚ with the final interviews being televised live.
Mkhwebane was praised by Khoza for the way she answered questions‚ and claimed the public also supported her appointment.
In an unusual turn for the current parliament‚ opposition parties praised Khoza’s chairmanship of the ad hoc committee.
DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said the DA would not support Mkhwebane’s nomination because the public protector should be independent and impartial.
“The public protector is one of the greatest gifts by the Constitution to our country‚” said Breytenbach.
She said Mkhwebane was not the best candidate for the job‚ and lacked the constitutionally required experience.
The DA had been informed that while ostensibly employed by the Department of Home Affairs‚ she was in fact employed by the State Security Agency. The DA believes she is still on the SSA payroll‚ which means she is not independent.
ANC MP Bongani Bongo railed against the DA for holding it against Mkhwebane that she worked for the SSA‚ saying it was contemptuous of the DA to say so.
He said the DA was a white party led by black stooges‚ and said they could not prove their allegations.
Bongo then reached the conclusion that the DA members were‚ in fact‚ spies.
EFF chief whip Floyd Shivambu said Mkhwebane was by far the best candidate and her knowledge gained through the experience of formerly working in the office of the public protector meant she could hit the ground running.
He called on Mkhwebane to remain close to the aspirations of the rural poor.
Shivambu said the EFF took note of the allegations against Mkhwebane . If true‚ the EFF would have her removed by order of court for misleading parliament.
In this‚ he was echoed by ACDP MP Steve Swart.
The EFF also revealed it had requested that Madonsela be allowed to address the National Assembly on the lessons she had learnt in her job.
UDM chief whip Nqabayomzi Kwankwa said while the UDM takes note of the concerns about Mkhwebane‚ South Africans were wrong in their concerns regarding chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and IEC chair Glen Mashinini‚ and called on Mkhwebane to be given a chance.
Speaking during the Parliamentary Public Protector debate on Wednesday evening‚ Deputy General Secretary of COPE‚ Deidre Carter said the nation had more than enough people who were capable of heading the office of Public Protector.
“In our opinion‚ there are South Africans with integrity‚ gravitas and standing who could be considered for the office and who could be trusted with exercising the powers and performing the functions of a Public Protector without fear‚ favour or prejudice‚” said Carter.
“There are questions hanging over advocate Mkhwebane’s head that have not been adequately explained‚ if they can be explained at all. As a nation we cannot continue to appoint people to positions of trusts where there are unresolved concerns about their integrity and bona fides.”