Communities must be builders of democracy: Madonsela

By Drum Digital
21 March 2012

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has called on South Africans to speak out when their rights are being violated.

"The public protector said South Africa is a constitutional democracy which gives citizens various channels through which they can engage with government," Madonsela's spokeswoman, Kgalalelo Masibi, said in a statement issued on Wednesday.

These channels included the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Rights of Cultural Religious and Linguistic Communities, the Human Rights Commission, the Auditor-General, and her Office.

Madonsela was speaking at a Human Rights Day commemoration in the Bohlokong township in the Free State.

She urged the community to use these channels to demand answers and hold those entrusted with public power and public resources accountable, said Masibi.

Madonsela explained that the Freedom Charter allowed people to empower themselves with information about their rights, responsibilities and knowledge of how government works.

Madonsela asked that people focus on systems and not on personalities when working with her office or other Chapter 9 institutions.

Their rights included the socio-economic rights such as rights to access to health care, education, decent housing and freedom to pursue economic activities.

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