SA can’t rest on its laurels after Ibrahim Index ranking – Madonsela

2011-10-17 12:45

South Africa’s fifth place on the Ibrahim Index was not grounds for the country to rest on its laurels, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said today.

Opening the Public Protector’s Good Governance Conference in Pretoria, Madonsela said that while South Africa had come fifth on the index, its score had only improved by a mere half a percent since 2008.

“It’s a good starting point. It’s not a cause to relax.”

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Ibrahim Index of African Governance assesses governance and leadership in African countries.

Madonsela said that when South Africa’s Constitution was adopted in 1996 those in power had to then accept that they were not only accountable to Parliament and the courts, but also to Chapter 9 institutions such as the Public Service Commission and the Public Protector.

“Public power is borrowed. When this power is abused, then the people cannot benefit.”

She said there were those who still thought of her office in a “before the Constitution” mind-set and failed to accept the reality of its mandate.

“I do not have to be a court of law to ask you questions. I don’t have to be a court of law to ask you to correct your actions.”

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