Kholeka Gcaleka: Carrying the weight of a nation’s expectations
The new public protector is now officially in office, following the disastrous tenure of Busisiwe Mkhwebane. She’s already got big plans for reform, which include criminalising noncompliance with remedial action, introducing oaths of office and adding capacity to a hollowed-out institution. Is she up to the task?
Some sad remnants of the nightmarish tenure of Busisiwe Mkhwebane remain at Public Protector House in Hillcrest, Pretoria. The TVs that she demanded be tuned in to Gupta-linked ANN7, for example, still hover over the reception area. Only, now, they’re dark.
The couches look worn and some tiles are broken. But the briefing room remains unchanged. It’s reminiscent of a school hall with cream walls, a podium, and chairs lining the walls. It’s a vanilla space that belies the history of the room — of the two opposing legacies that loom large over the office charged with protecting South Africa’s democracy...
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