Kevin Sifiso Malunga Most Qualified for SA Public Protector

I watched like many followers of democratic processes the selection of South Africa's public protector. An office that requires oversight of the various government functions.

I came out of the viewing with the opinion that Mr. Malunga is the most qualified and my reasons are as follows:


Given what has transpired with Nkandla and other constitutional issues there is a high priority for continuity in the new office, Mr Malunga has been doing the job of deputy public protector and so a promotion is not entirely uncalled for or "funny."

In addition, Mr. Malunga, from what I gather, has supported the out going public protector Madonsela exceptionally well. Perhaps, what the ad hoc committee needs to be doing is interviewing for a deputy public protector and allow Mr. Malunga to continue.

For some quarters to suggest that because Mr. Malunga is a naturalized South African citizen he is less loyal to South Africa is mischievous and unfortunate. Why were those statements not uttered when Mancaster born Johnny Glegg was declared a "white Zulu" by some in KwaZulu Natal? 

It strokes our wounded pride to have white Zulus and white Xhosas, but we can't adopt our fellow African brothers and sisters after they naturalize as South African citizens.

Incidentally, the highest number of white Sangomas is in South Africa, and most of them were not born in South Africa.

If a white person can play the highest and most honored role in African society - that of the Sangoma: I say, a naturalized African can be a public protector in any country which he now calls home.

South Africa as I have said before has an identity crisis. It can deal with it head on, or pretend that it does not exist. Qualified naturalized Africans do not hurt South Africa but make the lives of ordinary South Africans better.

Mr. Malunga has worked very hard and earned everything he has by virtue of doing the job and showing up at work. If there were no complaints when he was deputy why are there so many complaints now that he is willing to take the mantle. 

For democracy to grow in such a young country as South Africa, certain obstacle have to be dealt with and in this case, the question of xenophobia is central. Africans born outside of South Africa are not given the same love and respect as Europeans, and why is this so.

Is it the legacy of Bantu education, where South Africa is a continent to some, or is it simply, a lack of education from South Africa's founding fathers. But again, Utata Mandela was married to a Mozambiqan and so by example did his part to educate South Africans on the dangers of xenophobia - was this silent diplomacy at its best?.

It's people who know nothing about the struggle to end Apartheid and African history in general, before the arrival of white colonizers who think that Africans on one side of the fence on the European-drawn boundaries are disloyal to a common Kingdom. The tribe was the country! Even in biblical times. What Europeans merely did was create boundaries for their markets managed from the metropolis. If the same tribe exists across two modern countries - are these still not one people? 

A Jew in South Africa and a Jew in America are both Jews. What about a Zulu in South Africa and a Zulu in Zimbabwe? This is Malunga's predicament.

For example, are the Tswana in South Africa different from the Tswana in Bo-Tswana? Are these not one people?

As former South African president Thabo Mbeki put it: I am an African. And so are all South Africans.

Ken Tecumseh Sibanda is a South African (Transkei) born American Constitutional attorney, known affectionately as “Tecumseh,” for his writings and articles. He has written for numerous publications, in the US and South Africa, and including for “The Jerusalem Post,” in Israel.
He is the author of the book: International Law: Peace Accords, Tovakare Press (2015).
He has received numerous awards and citations including in 2000 at International House, for “extending International cooperation.”