Political Analyst Sam Koma says newly appointed Public Protector, Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka will need to develop thick skin, now that she will have to account to the committee that her predecessor, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has been deployed to in Parliament.
Gcaleka, who is the youngest Public Protector in the country’s history was officially appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.
Her non-renewable term of seven years as the head of the Chapter 9 institution is effective from the 1st of November 2023.
President Cyril Ramaphosa made the appointment after the National Assembly endorsed Gcaleka in October.
244 members of Parliament gave her the thumbs up, while 12 of them voted against the motion.
The EFF recently deployed Mkhwebane to the justice and constitutional development portfolio committee.
This is the same committee that she accounted for during her tenure until she was impeached.
Koma says Gcaleka needs to look forward to a robust engagement with this parliamentary committee.
“Accountability before Parliament does not need holy cows, given the rigorous scrutiny she will likely face from the portfolio committee.”
Political analyst, Jamie Mighti, on the other hand believes that Gcaleka’s appointment is a mistake.
On a clip posted on his X account, formerly Twitter, Mighti says the appointment is mainly supported by the ANC, which casts doubt on her impartiality.
Today President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Adv Kholeka Gcaleka as the Public Protector. This is a very controversial decision because pic.twitter.com/ursXBq88pA
New Kid on the political block, Rise Mzansi, says Gcaleka has the opportunity to restore faith in the Public Protector’s Office, which the party believes, its credibility and independence has been eroded.
RISE Mzansi Head of Internal Democracy, Boitumelo Mpakanyane, says they will give the newly appointed Public Protector the time and space to stamp her brand on the institution.
“It is also vital that in the administration of its work that the Public Protector remains impartial and exercises her powers and performs her functions without fear, favour or prejudice.”
Below is what you need to know about SA’s new Public Protector:
Born in Johannesburg and grew up in Umzimkhulu in KwaZulu-Natal.
Advocate Gcaleka holds a LLB Degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal and a LLM Degree in Commercial Law from the University of Johannesburg.
Gcaleka started her career with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as an Aspirant Prosecutor in 2004.
She is described as an enterprising and astute legal professional with 17 years of legal advisory, senior management and public prosecutions experience.
Adv. Gcaleka has served as a Special Advisor to the Ministers for the Department of Public Service and Administration; Department of Home Affairs and Department of Finance, respectively.
Adv. Gcaleka, served on the Committee of Enquiry probing the state of affairs of municipalities across Gauteng.
She is the former first black female National Chairperson of the Society of State Advocates.
Ramaphosa says he is confident in Gcaleka’s ability to run the office, which investigates and reports on improper conduct on state affairs.