Two minutes... Thuli Madonsela

By Drum Digital
15 October 2014

I don't do anything with anger or drama- Thuli Madonsela

She was on 2014 Times 100 most influential people in the world and ANN7 South African of the year awards named her South African of the year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela took time recently to reminiscence on her journey and some important things she has learned.

On Criticism

I welcome criticism at all times, but I feel it should be fair, rational and respect the criticised dignity. When I am criticised unfairly I forgive the critics because I feel they don’t know better. They are doing what they know.

On being a woman in power

I understand that a large part of our society is still patriarchal in their mindsets.  And I have seen some stereotypes play out, for example when I travel overseas people automatically assume that the men I lead are my bosses. We have played along with it at times. I do however draw the line when I am undermined because I am a woman, I will put the person in their place without being dramatic.

On calmness

A lot of people wonder why I am so calm, its getting older.  When you are younger sometimes you fight to control life but as you get older you realise life is what it is and you learn to live with it. I also pray, forgive myself and others.

The cases she will remember

Its not the ones that made public noise, its the ones that have made me cry and non of the public cases have had that effect on me. Two come into mind; the first time I cried when a war veteran lost his house after we had been fighting for so long to have him compensated. Another is of a man whose hands were chopped off when wild animals attacked him.

On leadership

I believe leadership is the ability to convince people to follow you while fulfilling a common goal that will benefit everyone. In the public protector’s office we believe that leadership is about the most effective and constructive arguement not using executive powers to rule people. Everyone is a leader and has that ability to do within them. It starts with you leading yourself then it moves to leading others.

On South Africa

South Africa is Amazing, with Amazing people. Everyone in South Africa should know that for it to be what we want its everyone’s responsibility. We should work as a collective.

By Molife Kumona

Recorded at the Extraordinary South Africans Series in 2015.

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