NEWS & ANALYSIS

Kholeka Gcaleka elected chairperson of SSASA

New leadership of Society of State Advocates backs Simelane's transformation agenda

28th ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the SOCIETY of STATE ADVOCATES

The Society of State Advocates of South Africa (SSASA) recently held its 28th Annual General Meeting (AGM) from 21-23 May 2010 at the Tsitsikamma National Park in the Eastern Cape. In what proved to be an emphatic clarion call for comprehensive transformation in the NPA, the society for the first time since its inaugural AGM in 1983, elected an African chairperson and a female one at that.

As Guest of Honour, the AGM was addressed by the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Adv Menzi Simelane who gave valuable and informative inputs on the current restructuring and transformation in the NPA. The Society, under its new leadership, extends its gratitude and unequivocal support to the NDPP in his courageous transformation agenda.

Senior State Advocate, Adv Kholeka Gcaleka, based at the South Gauteng DPP's office, was elected chairperson of the Society and so stepped into the big shoes of amongst others the Society's founder members such as Dr D' Olivera SC, Adv Jan Henning SC, once chairman Adv Billy Downer SC and the most recent chairperson Adv Geo Wassermann. The current complete office bearers consist of Adv Bronwyn Hendrik as the deputy chairperson, Adv Elaine Moonsammy as secretary, Adv Vuyisile Calaza the assistant secretary and Adv Arno Rossouw as the treasurer.

The AGM also saw Adv Mahlubi Ntlakaza of the DPP South Gauteng, Johannesburg office smiling all the way to the bank after winning the prize for the Ukuqwesa Best Prosecutor of the year award. This was in recognition of the sterling work Ntlakaza did in the case of S v Chirwa and 5 others where the wife of the deceased contracted people to kill her husband in Muldersdrift. Adv Willem Tarantal of the Western Cape DPP office walked away with the Jutas Book Prize Award.

As Chairperson , adv Gcaleka's perspective is that it is going to be business unusual in the SSASA  and the NPA. The SSASA will have a clear and progressive programme of action which will see state prosecutors occupying their rightful intellectual space in the legal fraternity and playing a vocal, visible and pivotal role in the transformation of our justice system and our nation as a whole as it is long overdue. She views gender equality as an integral part of transformation  and further avers that while social cohesion and reconciliation in the NPA, the justice cluster and society at large remain national imperatives, these can only be truly attained if amongst other strategies, anti -transformation forces, agenda and campaigns are unmasked and unflinchingly confronted head on. She intends engaging the minister of justice, the NDPP and other relevant stakeholders on their programme of action, issues that affect their members as well as their vision as the society.

Statement issued by Adv Kholeka Gcaleka, Chairperson of the Society of State Advocates of South Africa, May 28 2010

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