Kholeka Gcaleka
Kholeka Gcaleka

New deputy public protector used to be Gigaba's legal adviser

By Siyabonga Mkhwanazi Time of article published Feb 1, 2020

Share this article:

FORMER minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba’s ex-legal adviser Kholeka Gcaleka has been appointed deputy public protector two months after the national legislature endorsed her name.

She begins her job in the office of the public protector today.

Gcaleka, who is now Minister of Public Service and Administration Senzo Mchunu’s adviser, got the nod for the job ahead of other candidates, including Human Rights Commission senior official Buang Jones.

But the EFF and DA had rejected Gcaleka’s name during the interviewing process in Parliament last year.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Gcaleka’s appointment yesterday.

The law requires that the president makes the appointment after the recommendation of the National Assembly.

“She is an admitted advocate of the High Court of South Africa and a former national chairperson of the Society of State Advocates of South Africa. Advocate Gcaleka is also a member of the Black Lawyers Association,” said Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko.

Gcaleka takes over from Kevin Malunga, whose seven-year term ended last December.

During the interviewing process, the ANC had backed Gcaleka saying she was fit for the job.

This was despite the DA and EFF questioning her saying she was linked to Gigaba. But the ANC stuck to its guns that she would do her job without fear or favour.

Gcaleka joins the office of the public protector at a time it is mired in controversy and under intense scrutiny.

Gcaleka had previously worked as a senior prosecutor in the Johannesburg High Court.

She was involved in the prosecution of Glenn Agliotti several years ago.

When Gigaba was finance minister, Gcaleka worked with him in that department. When he later moved to Home Affairs she joined him there as well.

She then worked with Mchunu after Ramaphosa reconstituted his Cabinet after the May elections last year. Gcaleka joined the office of the public protector at a the time MPs were raising the issue of the powers of the deputy public protector.

In the past it was said that Malunga was sidelined on what he needed to do, but this was denied by current public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

At some of the meetings members of the justice committee would question the absence of the deputy public protector.

The issue of the reports of the public protector has become a subject of debate in the past few months with a number of legal challenges against her.

Ramaphosa said Gcaleka would start her job today and she is to serve for a term of seven years.

The term of office for the deputy public protector is renewable, but Malunga had decided not to run for the job again.

Political Bureau 

Share this article: