South Africa’s New Public Protector
Kholeka Gcaleka was born and raised in Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
She speaks six official South African languages: isiZulu, isiXhosa, English, Afrikaans, Tswana, and Sesotho.
She matriculated from Little Flower High School in 1998.
After high school, Gcaleka went on to study Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, obtaining her LLB degree.
She also holds a Master of Law degree from the University of Johannesburg.
Gcaleka was admitted as an advocate in November 2003.
She has held various roles in the state, including Special Advisor, Senior Advocate, and Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions with the National Prosecuting Authority from June 2011 to October 2016.
She is also the Director of KhonoConsulting, a consulting firm that seeks to develop solutions to crime prevention.
In 2020, Gcaleka was appointed Deputy Public Protector, serving under Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
She became Acting Public Protector in October 2022 following Mkhwebane’s suspension.
On October 19, 2023, the National Assembly voted to confirm Gcaleka as the permanent Public Protector.
Senior Managerial Roles
Gcaleka has held a number of senior managerial roles, both in the public and private sectors.
This experience has led to her being criticized by some as being overqualified for the position of Public Protector.
However, Gcaleka’s supporters argue that her experience makes her well-suited for the role, as it will allow her to effectively lead the Office of the Public Protector.
Gcaleka is a member of the Black Lawyers Association.
She has served as chairperson of the Society of State Advocates of South Africa as well as an advisor to former Minister Malusi Gigaba during his time as the Minister of Home Affairs and again at the National Treasury.
Kholeka Gcaleka is an experienced and qualified lawyer who has held a number of senior managerial roles.
Her appointment as Public Protector is a significant event, as it comes at a time when the Office of the Public Protector is facing a number of challenges.
Gcaleka’s supporters believe that she is well-equipped to lead the Office of the Public Protector and to restore public confidence in the institution.