During her recent parliamentary interview for the esteemed role of permanent head of the Chapter 9 institution, Deputy Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka once again found herself in the position of defending her approach to the intricate Phala Phala investigation. As the eighth and final candidate to undergo the rigorous interview process, Gcaleka demonstrated unwavering resolve in asserting that her investigation and subsequent findings, exonerating the president from any ethical wrongdoing, fell squarely within the bounds of her office’s mandate.
With her tenure as the acting leader of the Office of the Public Protector spanning over a year, Gcaleka faced a barrage of questions from diverse political parties concerning her handling of the Phala Phala investigation, specifically related to the president’s farming enterprise. In addressing these queries, Gcaleka expounded on her carefully considered conclusion, which delineated the president’s engagement as a financial interest rather than paid labor.
Highlighting her unwavering commitment to upholding procedural integrity and maintaining independence, Gcaleka was emphatic in her assertion that she steered clear of any interference in the ongoing investigation. Taking swift action to ensure impartiality, she established mechanisms to oversee the matter, assuring all parties of an unbiased process.
Addressing apprehensions surrounding the alleged possession and theft of funds from the president’s farm, Gcaleka iterated her stance of not wielding the authority to pronounce findings in that domain. Her responses during the interview epitomize her dedication to transparency, ethical conduct, and strict adherence to the parameters delineated by her office’s jurisdiction.
As Gcaleka vies for the permanent leadership of the Chapter 9 institution, her unwavering commitment to accountability and impartiality shines through. Her responses underscore the profound significance of these principles within her potential role, aligning with the institution’s essential mandate of safeguarding democracy, upholding human rights, and ensuring governance integrity.