I will prioritise ordinary South Africans, says new Public Protector

2016-10-06 18:54
Busisiwe Mkhwebane (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

Busisiwe Mkhwebane (Jaco Marais, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Newly appointed Pubic Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says she will prioritise cases of ordinary South Africans and will deal with the backlogs in her new office.

Advocate Mkhwebane takes over from Thuli Madonsela from October 15 after President Jacob Zuma approved her nomination on Wednesday.

"My biggest focus will be the backlogs. There are some cases which have been pending. I will make sure I deal with the backlogs because those people... have been waiting patiently for their cases to be finalised. That will be my key focus," Mkhwebane said.

Mkhwebane said she wanted to empower people, especially in rural areas, to hold their councillors accountable. She was concerned about the Auditor General’s findings on unauthorised or irregular expenditure, especially at local government level. She said she wanted to make sure that the lives of ordinary South Africans were improved.

"On those issues, I think it is then to say ‘How can we work together to make sure... that whatever is budgeted for for that financial year, people are getting the services... That will help to make sure that the life for that ordinary South African be improved,’" Mkhwebane said.

State capture

Madonsela elevated the office of the Chapter 9 institution following her investigation into the upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s home. She found that he had unduly benefited. She recommended that he pay back the money.

Madonsela is also racing against time to complete the investigations on state capture.

Mkhwebane told News24 that she was ready to continue with the investigation without fear or favour, if it was not completed.

"I will continue doing the work. It will depend on the work that has already been done and still needs to be done. I think our approaches will never be the same, so I will have my own approach on how to handle the matter, but I will be guided by the Constitution, by the law and by the facts.

“So I am just ready to go in there and work and serve the people of the country... though my key focus as well is grassroots people," Mkhwebane said.

Mkhwebane has promised to be transparent in her investigations and prevent leaks to the media before complainants have received the report.

WATCH this video with the new Public Protector:

Read more on:    public protector  |  busisiwe mkhwebane  |  thuli ­madonsela  |  judiciary

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