Wits law school saga – While completing his probation at Wits Law School, Malunga was dismissed as he was unsuccessful at having his work published by a recognised journal. This was not revealed to the committee handling candidate’s applications for the post. He was appointed a lecturer in 2004 and was axed five years later from the law school.
Security clearance – The State Security Agency has stated in a letter that Malunga is not cleared for the position of public protector. This relates to his citizenship, as he was born in Zimbabwe and attained South African citizenship in 2010. “I denounced the Zim citizenship in 2010 and it will have to follow up if it was concluded. I got South African citizenship in 2010. I have family in Zimbabwe as well as South Africa‚ and I travel both countries very frequently. If the State Security Agency does not understand‚ than I feel very sorry for them‚” he said.
Drunk driving charges – Malunga had a charge of driving under the influence withdrawn which could seriously compromise his attempt to become the next public protector.
Watch Malunga’s interview below
Controversial comments on the judiciary – Known for speaking off the cuff, Malunga’s comments on the judiciary and appointment of judges haunt him. In 2009, he made utterances about President Jacob Zuma appointing Sandile Ngcobo over Dikgang Moseneke. His statement: “the appointment also shows that law and politics can never be separated” can be interpreted as him not having a politically independent attitude.
His lack of support for Thuli Madonsela – Malunga once blasted Madonsela for attending a political event, according to The Star. “I think she [Madonsela] found herself in a very precarious position… Because of the nature of the office, I think in future I would recommend that someone who is involved in this should exercise great caution because of the potential interpretation. Even though no harm was intended, politics being what it is… I would caution against the attendance of such events as it may come back to bite whoever it is in question,” he said. He also differed from Madonsela regarding her powers when he quipped to the justice committee there were certain things a public protector shouldn’t do in handling cases.