South Africa: Deputy Public Protector Interviews - Bombshell Questions, From Politics to Racism Claims

analysis

The parliamentary interviews for the new deputy public protector on Tuesday were as much about that position as about the incumbent public protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, and the reputation of her office.

Kevin Malunga's term as deputy public protector ends on 9 December 2019 and, although as deputy another seven-year term would have been possible, he's not thrown his hat into the ring. He's on public record about concerns, including declining quality controls and internal consultations, and has distanced himself from high-profile investigations. That's notwithstanding the privilege of having been able to serve.

It's also on public record that Malunga was relieved of many of his duties by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, who shifted him to training and capacity building by October 2017. Security clearance was invoked - Malunga, who renounced his Zimbabwean nationality in line with South African citizenship laws, does not qualify for top-secret clearance - although the Public Protector Act has no security clearance requirement. By contrast, Malunga had been involved in high-profile investigations during Thuli Madonsela's time in office and also acted in her place.

On Tuesday, MPs from the DA and the ANC acknowledged Malunga's concerns in the public domain, and did not mince their words....

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