South African non-profit organisation Corruption Watch (CW) has sent a letter to the country’s minister of trade and industry, Ebrahim Patel, and the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry to ensure that the upcoming National Lotteries Commission (NLC) appointments are open and transparent.

According to CW, the letter has been sent to express the organisation’s concern over NLC’s recent dealings, with a reminder to Patel to ensure that certain criteria should be made during the firm’s appointment of its new board chairman.

NLC’s appointment process comes about as Prof Alfred Nevhutanda leaves his role after 11-years. Throughout his tenure the organisation has been publicly criticized following reports of corruption, nepotism, and maladministration.

According to an advertisement published in the Government Gazette in September, the new incumbent is expected to take over on December 1.

The criteria that the CW has asked Patel and the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry to consider for NLC’s shortlisting includes:

Having a specific methodology to ensure that the new board chairman has the correct skills to undertake the role.

Ensure that financial and security vetting is conducted on shortlisted candidates, as well as character references and qualification checks, with the results being analysed.

The names and CVs of shortlisted candidates should be published on Parliament’s website. In addition, the interview and deliberation process should be accessible to the public.

Along with this criteria, the CW has also asked that an independent panel established by the minister should be assembled to ensure that a ‘transparent and merit-based shortlisting process’ is created for the new role. 

The CW’s letter to the minister concluded:“We firmly believe that in order to safeguard our state institutions and prevent corruption, those in positions of political power need to prioritise and improve the appointment processes across all state bodies. It is in the interest of the public, and our constitutional democracy, that there is demonstrated political will to ensure that sufficient checks and balances are in place to end impunity and reinforce principles of accountability in South Africa.”