Why Kholeka Gcaleka will get nod from MPs

Members of Parliament in a sitting. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Members of Parliament in a sitting. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Aug 29, 2023


Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka is set to get the nod for the position of public protector when the report is tabled before the National Assembly to approve it.

Parliament would need 60% of its members to support her name.

The African National Congress (ANC) has a majority of 57.50% and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) obtained 3.38% in the last elections.

This would prove sufficient to get Gcaleka recommended to the position by parliament to president Cyril Ramaphosa for final approval.

She has been acting in the position for the last year, after Busisiwe Mkhwebane was suspended by President Cyril Ramaphosa following impeachment by the national legislature.

While the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Democratic Alliance (DA), and Freedom Front Plus on Tuesday refused to support Gcaleka, the majority of the ANC and IFP members combined would be enough to get her name through.

The EFF had initially asked that she be excluded from the process because of her Phala Phala report, which they have questioned.

The report is being taken on review.

But now the ball is in the court of Parliament to vote on the report when it is tabled in the next few days.

The appointment of the new public protector has been speculated on for weeks now, and the term of the current public protector comes to an end in October.

If appointed, Gcaleka will be appointed for a non-renewable term of seven years.

She will be the third woman to lead that office after Thuli Madonsela and Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Selby Baqwa was the first public protector from 1995 until 2002, and he was followed by Lawrence Mushwana from 2002 until 2009. Madonsela succeeded Mushwana in 2009 until 2016.

Mkhwebane has not finished her term after parliament launched an inquiry into her fitness to hold office in 2022, and the Section 194 committee has recommended that she be removed from office.

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