How Gcaleka made it to top po­si­tion de­spite op­po­si­tion

The Citizen (KZN) - - News - Eric Naki

Con­tro­versy sur­round­ing her started even be­fore Ad­vo­cate Kholeka Gcaleka’s ap­point­ment as deputy public pro­tec­tor.

Gcaleka ex­pe­ri­enced a heated ses­sion dur­ing in­ter­views of can­di­dates by the par­lia­men­tary port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on jus­tice and cor­rec­tional ser­vices.

At the time, com­mit­tee chair­per­son Bule­lani Mag­wan­ishe said the com­mit­tee in­ter­viewed seven can­di­dates and agreed to nom­i­nate Gcaleka for ap­point­ment as deputy public pro­tec­tor in terms of sec­tion 2A of the Public Pro­tec­tor Act 23 of 1994.

Her nom­i­na­tion raised a storm when al­most all op­po­si­tion par­ties ex­cept the Inkatha Free­dom Party and Na­tional

Free­dom Party op­posed her nom­i­na­tion to the top post.

The Eco­nomic Free­dom Fight­ers, the Demo­cratic Al­liance, African Chris­tian Demo­cratic Party and the United Demo­cratic Move­ment re­fused to en­dorse Gcaleka’s ap­point­ment and ques­tioned her past, in­clud­ing be­ing a spe­cial ad­viser to for­mer fi­nance min­is­ter Malusi Gi­gaba.

The ma­jor­ity of the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee mem­bers de­fended Gcaleka’s nom­i­na­tion, with ANC MPs say­ing she was never con­victed of any crime and sat­is­fac­to­rily ex­plained any al­le­ga­tions dur­ing the in­ter­views for the post.

Even ex­ter­nal ob­servers came to Gcaleka’s de­fence.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Zamikhaya Maseti said it was un­fair to marginalis­e Gcaleka for merely hav­ing worked for Gi­gaba.

“Lawyers are lawyers, they work for or give le­gal ad­vice to any­one and there is a cer­tain pro­fes­sional pro­to­col they have to fol­low who­ever they worked for,” Maseti said.

Last year Mag­wan­ishe said his com­mit­tee re­ceived 29 ap­pli­ca­tions but three with­drew. Of the re­main­ing 26 can­di­dates, six can­di­dates did not meet the re­quire­ments for the post.

On 23 Oc­to­ber 2019, the com­mit­tee short­listed eight can­di­dates: Ad­vo­cates Shadrack Nkuna, Gcaleka, Buang Jones, Moshoeshoe Toba, Pu­leng Mat­sh­elo, Lwazi Kubukeli, Nox­olo Mban­geni and Son­wa­bile Man­co­tywa. But Man­co­tywa no­ti­fied the com­mit­tee that he was with­draw­ing from the process.

Gcaleka is a for­mer spe­cial ad­vi­sor in the na­tional trea­sury, home af­fairs and public ser­vice and ad­min­is­tra­tion. She pre­vi­ously served as se­nior state ad­vo­cate and se­nior deputy di­rec­tor of public pros­e­cu­tions in the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity.

Be­sides be­ing an ad­mit­ted ad­vo­cate of the High Court, Gcaleka is a mem­ber of the Black Lawyers As­so­ci­a­tion and for­mer na­tional chair­per­son of the So­ci­ety of State Ad­vo­cates of South Africa.

Lawyers work for or give le­gal ad­vice to any­one

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