Opposition parties demand bigger budget for public protector

2016-04-19 17:49
(News24)

(News24)

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Cape Town – The public protector's "inadequate" budget took the spotlight during the justice budget vote in Parliament on Tuesday.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha presented his department’s budget vote, including achievements and plans for the year.

But the minister came under fire from political parties - including the DA, EFF, and the IFP - who called for more money to be allocated to the public protector’s office.

The DA moved for the public protector’s budget to be increased drastically.

Speaking during the justice budget vote in Parliament on Tuesday, DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said the public protector had to be appropriately resourced in order to investigate every instance of corruption reported to her office.

"To adequately fund the public protector’s office would cost less than half of what was splurged at Nkandla. The public protector could be fully funded more than 33 times over for the cost of a R4bn presidential jet. Unlike the office of the public protector, the Constitution does not specifically mandate the provision of a private presidential palace nor a luxury jet – in fact, quite the contrary,”"she said.

Masutha said that, out of their R18bn budget, the public protector had been allocated R268m, 7% more than last year.

His written speech, however, says the public protector was allocated R262m.

Masutha said the allocation would increase by 15% in the next financial year.

'I wouldn't be surprised if the DA recruit her'

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela told the committee earlier this month that the bulk of the budget for the year  about R183.4m  would go towards investigations.

The DA and the ACDP again called for Parliament to apologise to Madonsela, following the Constitutional Court ruling in March.

ANC MP Moloko Maila said they would not apologise for doing their work.

He questioned the DA’s intentions in defending Madonsela.

"The incumbent’s term is ending in October. I would not be surprised if the DA recruit her," he said.

ANC MP Madipoane Mothapo accused the DA of grandstanding.

EFF MP Mmabatho Mokause said the office of the public protector needed more money to root out corruption.

"President Jacob Zuma is a corrupt individual. That’s a fact," she said.

Deputy Minister John Jeffery said the public protector did not motivate to the justice department for her budget, but to Treasury directly.

The DA, EFF did not support the budget, while the ANC and IFP did.

Read more on:    thuli madonsela  |  politics  |  parliament 2016

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