Kholeka Gcaleka punted as preferred candidate for Public Protector

Acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka.

Acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka.

Published Aug 29, 2023


Acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka has been named as the candidate to be recommended to the National Assembly to take over from suspended incumbent Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

This, after the ad hoc committee on the appointment of the public protector deliberated on Tuesday, following interviews conducted over two days last week for the PP’s position.

During the meeting, the MPs initially eliminated five of the interviewed candidates.

That left three top candidates for selection - Pension Fund Adjudicator Muvhango Lukhaimane, former Human Rights Commission CEO Tseliso Thipanyane, and Gcaleka.

While the MPs agreed that Lukhaimane and Thipanyane were not suitable for the position, there was disagreement over Gcaleka.

ANC MP Manketsi Tlhape said Gcaleka had an excellent interview, was well prepared and exhibited a high level of confidence and wealth of experience.

Tlhape said Gcaleka had a clear plan in place to strengthen the office and had stood her ground when grilled.

But DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said she found Gcaleka wholly unsuitable, while carrying a “burden of baggage” from the National Prosecuting Authority.

“She has not demonstrated as the acting Public Protector (that) she has sufficient experience to take over the top job.

“We will not support her,” Breytenbach said.

EFF MP Omphile Maotwe said Gcaleka had agreed to act in place of Mkhwebane knowing that she had ambitions for the job.

Maotwe also said she oversaw the Phala Phala investigation and did a “favor to President Cyril Ramaphosa” who would do her favour by appointing her if she cleared him of wrong doing.

The IFP supported Gcaleka while the Freedom Front Plus said she was not the best person for the job.

When committee chairperson Cyril Xaba put Gcaleka’s name to vote, seven supported her and three were against her.

The EFF, Freedom Front Plus and DA asked that their objections be recorded in the committee’s report.

The report will now be tabled in the National Assembly and should Gcaleka obtain 60% of the votes, her name will be forwarded to Ramaphosa for appointment for a non-renewable seven-year period.

Cape Times