On 23 October 2019, the parliamentary Committee on Justice and Correctional Services shortlisted eight of the 26 applicants who applied or were nominated for the position of deputy public protector. The committee acknowledged Corruption Watch’s contribution to the process in which we highlighted, through our submission, the results of our persona survey, as well as the desktop vetting that was done on candidates.
On Corruption Watch’s contribution, committee chairperson Honourable Gratitude Magwanishe said, “I think they’ve done a very good job. We have asked the public to make comments… They are part of the civil society that has responded and it has really helped the process so that honourable members can have a better idea as to who can be the best deputy public protector.”
Of the 26 candidates, six were deemed not to meet the requirements for the position as laid out in the Public Protector Act, and were therefore not considered. The committee thereafter perused through the CVs of the remaining 18 candidates, and considered the information provided by Corruption Watch, before settling on a final list of eight candidates.
The applicants will be interviewed over a two-day period on 12 and 13 November. They will be streamed live via Parliament’s YouTube channel.
Meet the shortlisted candidates:
Mr Buang Jones
Jones was nominated for the shortlist by Honourable Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen of the ANC. He is currently employed as the provincial manager and acting head of legal services at the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC). He holds a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), a Master of Laws and was admitted as an attorney in 2009. He has been with the Human Rights Commission since 2010, and before that worked at Legal Aid South Africa. His CV lists experience in divorce and estates law, criminal and civil litigation as well as human rights. In his leadership position at the SAHRC, he has also gained experience in managing a large institution.
Corruption Watch’s submission highlighted that Jones is currently under investigation by the SAHRC for comments he made in relation to the Eben Etzebeth hate speech case, where it is alleged that he has shown prejudice against the rugby player before any investigation or trial has taken place.
Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka
Gcaleka was nominated for the shortlist by Honourable Xola Nqola of the ANC. She is currently employed as the director of Khonoconsulting. Gcaleka has a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), Master of Laws and was admitted as an advocate in 2006. Before working at Khonoconsulting, she worked at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as a prosecutor and advocate for the State for over 10 years. She also worked as special advisors to the ministers of home affairs and finance. According to her CV Gcaleka has experience in prosecutions, investigations, litigation and training. In her leadership positions at the NPA she also gained experience in managing a large institution.
Corruption Watch’s submission noted several controversies surrounding Gcaleka. In 2010 Gcaleka, who was chairperson of the Society of Advocates at the time, was quoted as saying there should be no concern around then National Director of Public Prosecutions Menzi Simelane’s plan for restructuring the criminal justice system, which included proposals to close the specialised commercial crime unit and asset forfeiture unit. In 2017, allegations emerged that Gcaleka had tried to coerce a witness, during the Richard Mdluli murder trial in 2011, into implicating the accused, as well as that the prosecution team tampered with evidence. Also in 2017, senior treasury officials alleged that Gcaleka, who was an advisor to the finance minister at the time, was part of a network attempting to ‘capture’ National Treasury.
Advocate Lwazi Pumelela Kubukeli
Kubukeli was nominated for the shortlist by Honourable Hisamodien Mohamed of the ANC. He is currently a practising advocate. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a Master of Philosophy. Kubukeli was admitted as an advocate in 2003.
His CV shows that he has experience in environmental and land law, as well as administration of traditional leadership. He also has experience in public interest litigation and human rights.
Mr Moshoeshoe Jeffrey Toba
Toba was nominated for the shortlist by Honourable Mbuyiseni Ndlozi of the EFF. He is currently employed as senior manager: Legal Delivery Support and Dispute Resolution at the South African Revenue Service (Sars). He holds two Bachelor of Laws degrees (B Iuris and LLB). According to his CV and nomination letter, he is an admitted attorney and an admitted advocate.
Toba has been at Sars since 2015, and before that he gained experience in prosecuting at the NPA and at the Attorneys Fidelity Fund. His CV shows that he has experience in property, trusts, succession, company. and tax law. He also has experience in investigations, public administration and managing a large institution.
Advocate Noxolo Mbangeni
Mbangeni was nominated for the shortlist by Honourable Werner Horn of the DA. She is currently a practising advocate. She has a Bachelor of Laws (B Iuris) and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), and was admitted as an advocate in 2014.
Before practising as an advocate, Mbangeni worked as a legal advisor for various government departments including the Office of the Western Cape Premier, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, and the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism. According to her CV, she has experience in environmental law, criminal litigation, training and public policy.
Advocate Puleng Matshelo
Matshelo was nominated for the shortlist by Honourable Nomathemba Maseko-Jele of the ANC. She is currently a practising advocate. She has two Bachelor of Laws degrees (B Iuris and LLB), a Master of Laws.
Before practising, Matshelo worked as a law lecturer, and also as a legal advisor for various government departments including the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. According to her CV, she has experience in military, labour, customary and family law. She also has experience in legal research, lecturing and litigation.
Advocate Shadrack Nkuna
Nkuna was nominated for the shortlist by Honourable Glynnis Breytenbach of the DA. He is currently employed as the deputy director: Public Administration Investigations at the Public Service Commission (PSC). Nkuna holds a Bachelor of Administration, a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), a Master of Laws and is an admitted advocate.
Before working at the PSC, he worked in the South African Police Service and at the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations. His CV shows that he has experience in policing, investigations, legal research, good governance and managing a large institution.
Advocate Sonwabile Mancotywa
Advocate Mancotywa was nominated for the shortlist by Honourable Jacqueline Mofokeng of the ANC. He is currently employed as the CEO at the National Heritage Council. He has two Bachelor of Laws degrees (B Iuris and LLB) and was admitted as an advocate in 2003.
Before the National Heritage Council, Mancotywa worked as a member of the provincial legislature in the Eastern Cape, including as member of the executive council for Arts and Culture. According to his CV, he has experience in public policy, public finance management, governance, stakeholder management and managing a large institution.