SOUTH AFRICA has a new Public Protector.
Yes, its Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka.
The deputy PP ascends to the hotly contested post after majority voting on Thursday, afternoon, in Parliament.
National Assembly approved the permanent appointment with the required 60% vote threshold.
There were 244 votes in favour of her being the new Public Protector. No members of the DA, EFF, UDM, ATM, COPE or PAC took part in the vote. The UDM, COPE and PAC were absent.
Gcaleka’s appointment follows her nomination by an ad hoc committee set up for this purpose, where her nomination was stringently opposed by the DA, EFF, ATM and Freedom Front Plus. The ANC and IFP, however, supported her nomination.
She has been acting in the position since June last year, when President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa suspended Mkhwebane because of the impeachment proceedings against her.
During Gcaleka’s time as acting Public Protector, the office released a report clearing Ramaphosa of wrongdoing in the Phala Phala matter, which proved to be a source of the opposition parties’ objection to her appointment.
Gcaleka started her career as a prosecutor at the National Prosecuting Authority and later became an advisor for Malusi Gigaba while he was minister of home affairs. Thereafter, she became an advisor to Senzo Mchunu when he was minister of public service and administration
The vote took place at a special sitting of the National Assembly, the same venue where the legislature, in a historic vote, ousted Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane on 11 September after an impeachment inquiry found her guilty of misconduct and incompetence.
Mkhwebane was the first head of a Chapter 9 institution to be removed. Had she not been removed, her term would have ended on 14 October.
Pemmy Majodina (ANC) said party members had to toe-line and vote her for the position and ‘will support black excellence’.
Dawson Naidoo, executive secretary from Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac), says her appointment is welcomed, but will come with a lot scrutiny especially on her findings on the Phala Phala matter.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will appoint Gcaleka as PP officially.
As expected drama unfolded when MP and DA’s legal guru Adv Glynnis Breitenbach had to be escorted out of Parliament for having made unsavoury comments that “Kholeka had an intimate affair with now disgraced former national director of public prosecutions Menzi Simelane”.
Image (New PP Kholeka Gcaleka enters the fray).