Candidates for the post of intelligence inspector general will be shortlisted in Parliament on Friday. Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) reported that the joint standing committee on intelligence’s sub-committee had met in February in preparation of the appointment.
The committee’s choice to publicize the appointment has been welcomed, as it would ensure transparency in the process. However, many assert that since the Inspector General is a public watchdog, the public should be able to access the CV of each candidate so that their experience and suitability would be made known to all.
Meanwhile, PMG also revealed that 55 candidates were under consideration. Also, report says that Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI) recommended former ANC MP Cecil Burgess’ appointment.
Lending their weight to Burgess’s appointment, the ANC expressed hope in the competence of the former head of intelligence committee.
“We have no doubt regarding the capability of the recommended candidate, Advocate Cecil Burgess – who certainly met all the prescribed requirements for the post – to discharge the duties of the office independently and professionally as directed by the Constitution and the Act,” the ANC said in a statement.
But Burgess’s candidacy did not go down well with opposition parties, who fiercely kicked against it. Imperatively, PMG has disclosed that prospective inspector general of intelligence are expected to meet the following criteria; candidate’s career skills, knowledge and education, South African citizenship, knowledge of the intelligence and counter-intelligence sector and impartiality.
Duties Of An Intelligence Inspector General
The Office of the Inspector General of Intelligence functions as a watchdog of the intelligence services. It also protects the public against illegal surveillance and abuse of power. But as it stands now, piles of complains are left untreated because since last year, the country moved on without an Inspector General.
It is paramount to note that Advocate Cecil Burgess was the former head of the intelligence committee and he espoused the so-called ‘secrecy bill’.