Madonsela: I want to address Parliament before I leave

2016-04-08 12:25
Thuli Madonsela. (Lerato Maduna, Netwerk24)

Thuli Madonsela. (Lerato Maduna, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has said she wants to address Parliament's plenary before her seven-year stint in office comes to an end in October.

Madonsela was speaking before the justice and correctional services portfolio committee on Thursday, and said her office should act independently in order to maximise its role as a watchdog.

According to the Cape Argus, Madonsela told the committee she wanted to address the plenary before she leaves to reaffirm that the position is neither an “office” nor an “entity” of the justice department.

She described the justice minister’s proviso to speak on behalf of the Public Protector as “an accident of history”.

Madonsela concluded by telling the committee that the Public Protector is an executive authority in its own right, and the justice minister should never be allowed to speak on behalf of the Public Protector.

Public Protector ‘not a court of law’

Madonsela was also quick to stress though that the role of Public Protector was still subordinate to the law, News24 reported on Thursday.

At the committee meeting, Madonsela said they had not been elevated to a court of law, despite some MPs lauding her office for its work. They were however still an institution of a unique nature, she said.

Madonsela was vindicated recently when the Constitutional Court ruled that the powers of her office were binding.

She said, following the judgment, that they were now looking for the best ways of going forward.

"Our point is, we are not going to lean too much on our hot power. With such hot power comes fear, and that’s not what we want.

"We want to be bound by a vision of a caring South Africa, that is bound by Ubuntu and that seeks to improve the quality of life."

Less money

Thuli Madonsela also asked Parliament for R263.3m, but she needs almost R115m more than that for “optimum service delivery”, News24 reported on Thursday.

Presenting her budget to the justice committee in what might be her final appearance before Parliament, she pleaded for more funds.

With the extra money, her office would be able to get funding for additional regional offices, and use about R54m for a case management system and security, she told the committee on Thursday.

Madonsela’s term ends in October this year, and she is looking forward to taking a 15-month holiday before going back to her studies, she said.

Read more on:    public protector  |  thuli madonsela  |  cape town  |  nkandla upgrade  |  parliament 2016

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