JUST IN: Stats SA appoints Pali Lehohla's successor

Johannesburg - Statistics South Africa has appointed a new head who will take over the reins from statistician general Pali Lehohla when his term ends on October 31.

Stats SA on Friday announced that Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe appointed Risenga Maluleke in the position.

Maluleke has served in Stats SA for 20 years. He was appointed manager at the Limpopo provincial office in 1997 and is currently a deputy director general for statistical collections and outreach.

“In Risenga Maluleke I had a trusted and enduring partner with whom over a quarter of a century we engaged in the most daring of leadership missions to construct what has become the most iconic institution of the state,” said Lehohla.

“I am distinctly pleased by the choice the leadership has made.”

Referring to Maluleke’s appointment at the organisation as far back as October 1996, Lehohla said that at the time he told Dr Benny Mokaba: “...today we have appointed a new head for the central statistics service in the making.” 

“In Risenga we have a well-grounded leader with balance, instilling fairness and justice in all his dealings. He has enduring strength, he imbues humility, he is a servant leader, a village boy who with agility adapts to metropoles of the world, and who is ready to take on any adversity with a singularly determined mind for finding solutions.

“My success in leading and building this mighty organisation would not have been possible if Risenga was not leading with me in the most treacherous of waters. My relay is done - I am passing the baton to a well-tested professional and leader.” 

Stats SA clarified that the Presidency appoints the statistician general.

Previously Lehohla told journalists that he does his job without fear or favour, but warned that even  in the best democracies statisticians are not always safe. He added that he does not feel “unprotected” in delivering meaningful numbers necessary to develop policy. 

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