Attorney Doris Tshepe named Competition Commissioner as Bonakele steps down after 9 years

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Thembinkosi Bonakele, outgoing commissioner.
Thembinkosi Bonakele, outgoing commissioner.
Elvira Wood
  • Doris Tshepe, who has some 20 years of experience as an attorney, has been appointed as the new Competition Commissioner.
  • Incumbent Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele will vacate the position in September.
  • Minister Ebrahim Patel praised Bonakele for strengthening the watchdog's capacity during his tenure.

Minister of Trade, Industry, and Competition Ebrahim Patel has announced the resignation of Competition Commissioner Tembinkosi Bonakele and the appointment of competition attorney Doris Tshepe as the new head of the competition watchdog.

In a statement released on Thursday evening, Patel said Tshepe would assume the position in September. This appointment brings Bonakele's nine-year tenure as Competition Commissioner to an end.

The Competition Commission seeks to assess the state of competition in all sectors of the South African economy, assess mergers and acquisitions and investigate instances of anti-competitive behaviour by businesses.

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Tshepe has previously served on the advisory panel for amendments to the Competition Act signed into law by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2019. She is also the former managing director of the law firm Cheadle Thompson and a former member of the Judicial Services Commission.

Tshepe is a tax law graduate with 20 years' experience as an attorney. In a statement, Patel praised her experience in competition, administrative and constitutional law. 

"Ms Doris Tshepe has wide experience on matters relating to the mandate of the Competition Commission and has been active in the competition field for many years. She brings deep insights from her work in advising government on reforms to competition law and as a practitioner representing clients on competition cases," Patel said.

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Patel thanked Bonakele for his 18 years of service to the Competition Commission in multiple positions. Patel noted Bonakele's work in adjudicating mergers and competition settlements affecting companies like the Coca-Cola Company, ABInbev, Glencore, Old Mutual, and Mondi.  

"His work to strengthen the commission’s capacity in cartel and merger investigations has resulted in more competitive markets, substantial numbers of jobs retained, development programmes for small and medium business, and greater levels of investment," said Patel.

Patel said Bonakele would continue in his position until Tshepe takes office. All appointments considered and approved by Cabinet are subject to the verification of qualifications and other clearance procedures.

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