The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has ruled out the possibility of conducting public interviews as the search for the country’s next prosecutor general intensifies.
The commission yesterday announced it has shortlisted three candidates, including incumbent Martha Imalwa, who has been in charge of the PG’s office for the past 16 years.
Former magistrate Ruth Herunga and former state advocate Taswald July are the other shortlisted candidates.
“Against the above background and noting the importance of establishing a process that has been carefully considered, extensively consulted on and for which proper guidelines and logistics have been set, the JSC will not at this time make the interviews for the position of prosecutor general open to the public,” the commission said in a statement.
July yesterday told New Era the process is still ongoing and is glad to be shortlisted. July is currently employed as group legal advisor for FNB Namibia and also serves as the chairperson of the Namibian Law Association.
“We hope to show our value and why we believe we are ready to be appointed for the position. We hope whoever is appointed their value would be to the benefit of the Namibian nation,” he said briefly.
Herunga declined to comment, while Imalwa was unreachable. According to the JSC, eight applicants submitted applications for consideration to fill the position. Out of the eight, five applicants were not shortlisted, as they did not meet some of the requirements contained in the advertisement.
Imalwa was appointed PG initially for a ten-year term with effect from 2004. She was further reappointed in October 2013 for a period of seven years. Her current term is due to expire next month.
In September, the JSC advertised the position. To ensure the selection process is attuned to the principles of constitutional democracy, the JSC has set up a committee to conduct a thorough review of its selection process in its entirety.
The requirements for the much sought-after position as advertised have been questioned by those within the legal fraternity, citing that they are too vague.
The bone of contention in regard to the requirements was the 15 years post-admission, which is higher than the requirement for one to be appointed as chief justice.
Furthermore, the incumbent was not subjected to the same requirements during her appointment in 2004.
As a result, the JSC lowered the number of years of admission as a legal practitioner required to apply for the position to 10 years. They further extended the deadline from 16 to 30 October.
Following the advertisement of the vacancy, the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) movement leader Job Amupanda called on the JSC to hold public interviews for candidates shortlisted for the position.
The pressure group proposed the JSC considers not only having public interviews, but it should avail all the names of those who applied for the position to the public as stipulated in the constitution.