Johannesburg - Phillip David Dexter is a prominent South African politician and activist who could potentially be South Africa’s next Public Protector.Thuli Madonsela’s concludes her seven-year term in October. Members of the public had until Friday to comment on‚ or object to‚ any of the names before a special parliamentary ad hoc committee.Dexter's road to politics began in the 1980s when he was a student. His political activity forced him into exile. On his return to the country, he joined the trade union movement, serving as the secretary general of the National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu).According to his Linkedin profile, Dexter is passionate about civil rights and social action, economic empowerment, politics and poverty alleviation.Political pathIn post-Apartheid SA, Dexter led the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) and has been an active member of Parliament.He was also an important figure during the formation of the Congress of the People – which was formed as a result of a split within the African National Congress. He served as a spokesperson for the party. He has since returned to the ANC.Speaking on his return to the ruling party, in an interview with The Patterns in 2012, Dexter said: "It [Cope] started out with a very interesting possibility, but it very quickly assumed all the characteristics of the ANC, but without the resources and without the cohesion that the ANC had."A wealth of experienceDexter was a senior researcher in the Social Cohesion and Integration Research Programme of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).Before joining the HSRC, he was an executive director of the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac).Dexter holds a BA in Philosophy and Politics, and a Masters of Philosophy degree from the University of Cape Town.He was elected to Parliament as an ANC MP in 1994, where he served on the Labour, Public Service and Administration, and Finance Portfolio committees.Dexter was a member of the national executive of the ANC, and the central committee and politburo of the South African Communist Party. He was treasurer of the South African Communist Party.He also acted as non-executive director for the International Marketing Council, Nehawu Investment Company, the Parliamentary Millennium Project Advisory Board, the Proudly South African campaign, South African Tourism, and the National Export Advisory Board of Trade & Investment South Africa.While he has been relatively inactive in recent years, Dexter still holds a significant influence and respect of his political allies.