Show me the money, begs Thuli Madonsela

2015-06-11 16:54
(Julie Campbell, News24)

(Julie Campbell, News24)

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WATCH: Our budget is far too little - Madonsela

2015-06-11 17:21

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says it remains a battle to ensure prompt justice for citizens without the budget to hire a sufficient number of investigators. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says it remains a battle to ensure prompt justice for citizens without the budget to hire a sufficient number of investigators.

“We have more than 166 cases that are over a year [old] that are sitting. A lot is suffering,” she told News24 on Thursday.

“Our budget is far too little to deal with the work, just looking at the number of institutions we oversee, more than 1 200. We have 322 funded posts.”

Speaking after receiving her fourth Doctor of Laws Degree, this time at UCT, she said it would be a good starting point to have the same number of investigators as those institutions.

Madonsela had reportedly asked Parliament’s Justice Portfolio Committee for an extra R200m for her office, whose current allocation is R240m, but she was shot down by ANC MPs who questioned whether she was putting her budget to good use.

She said on Thursday that delivering prompt justice with remedial action required that her office was thorough in its work and dealt with the problem “while it was still hot”.

“But the cases that we haven’t dealt with, the situation gets worse. For example, we have investigations that we were supposed to have dealt with in PetroSA. Look at what is happening there. Telkom, Eskom, Medupi, the Nuclear Energy issue that is currently being viewed as a potential risk. 

“If we had had the opportunity to investigate those things within 6 months each, we would know by this time what went wrong, even if we can’t remedy too much of what went wrong then. But we would then set up a new system that makes sure that we don’t repeat the same risks.”

'Gogo Dlamini' cases

As Madonsela made her way down the “Jammie Steps” in her flowing red gown after graduation, hordes of students and their relatives crowded around, eager to include her in their photos. She patiently acceded to their requests and offered a smile for each photo.

Although her report into President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead dominated the headlines, she primarily dealt with administrative injustices of the Average Joe, what she called “Gogo Dlamini" cases.

While government had the time, money and resources to back whatever decision it had made, the average citizen was on their own.

She said she offered dignity to the vulnerable, including whistle-blowers who had been fired or unfairly dismissed, those who were owed money from social security, and businesses owed money by the State.

Madonsela was honoured for her courageous execution of her duties, achieving and maintaining the values of accountability, responsiveness an openness, the university said.

Honorary degrees were also awarded to, among others, Ahmed Kathrada and Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

Read more on:    thuli madonsela  |  uct  |  public protector

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