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‘Well deserved’: Thuli Madonsela congratulates Kholeka Gcaleka on becoming public protector

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has congratulated advocate Kholeka Gcaleka (above) on her appointment.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has congratulated advocate Kholeka Gcaleka (above) on her appointment.
Image: PPSA/X

Former public protector advocate Thuli Madonsela has congratulated advocate Kholeka Gcaleka on becoming the new leader of the institution, saying her appointment was well deserved. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Gcaleka’s appointment as public protector on Wednesday, two weeks after she received endorsement from parliament.

Madonsela, unlike some opposition parties that criticised Gcaleka’s appointment, viewed it as a positive move.

“Congratulations advocate Kholeka Gcaleka on being appointed public protector, thus heading one of South Africa’s democracy-anchoring institutions. It’s a well-deserved appointment. Your professionalism, level-headedness and sagacity will help you navigate whatever life brings your way,” Madonsela said.

ActionSA spokesperson Lerato Ngobeni said: “We hope the posture of her tenure as public protector will be zero tolerance for corruption and her office will be restored as a symbol of our democracy and an institution that handles misconduct and corruption accordingly.”

Gcaleka was lambasted by some political parties for her office’s report on the Phala Phala farm scandal which cleared Ramaphosa of allegations related to misusing state resources during a probe into the farm robbery. The public protector investigated whether Ramaphosa abused state resources after millions of US dollars were stolen from his game farm in Limpopo in February 2020. 

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach described Gcaleka as unfit for the office saying she did not deserve the seven-year contract.

“The public protector is meant to be a firm independent voice. Gcaleka has demonstrated her political biases as well as her inexperience in litigation and prosecution. She is unfit for the battles that will be before her, as those that captured our state will seek to do so again,” Breytenbach previously said. 

“[Impeached former public protector Busisiwe] Mkhwebane was meant to be a sobering reminder of what can happen when a public protector is unfit to serve. History will repeat itself and the DA will again be on the right side.”

Gcaleka defended her office, saying it was not biased in its findings.

“This report has been well thought out. I am confident this is a matter in which the public protector would not be found to have been biased or to have dealt with the matter in an unbecoming manner. 

“The court might arrive at a different decision — that is really up to the court, but we are confident we have done the best we could in line with the law,” she said at the time. 

The debate continues on social media: 


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