Task teams don’t change lives – Madonsela

2016-10-16 16:16
Thuli Madonsela (File, News24)

Thuli Madonsela (File, News24)

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WATCH: 10 things Madonsela believes should rise

2016-10-15 19:35

Advocate Thuli Madonsela delivered the annual Ahmed Kathrada Foundation lecture at the Sci-Bono in Newtown under the theme #WhatMustRiseWATCH

Johannesburg – Accountability, responsiveness and integrity must rise, says former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

"If you are the driver of a car, surely you must know and understand that car," Madonsela said on Saturday.

Less than 24 hours after walking away from the public protector's office, she addressed guests, including former President Kgalema Motlanthe and Tourism Minister Derek Hanekom, in Johannesburg at the keynote lecture in honour of Rivonia trialist Ahmed Kathrada.

Madonsela, whilst emphasising the importance of leaders submitting to the nation and being accountable, said it was important for those entrusted with power to become familiar with South Africa’s Constitution, where the country's values are enshrined.

"Task teams don't change lives. They are just a road map."

‘People can’t suffer silently anymore’

She said government needed to learn to prioritise its constitutional responsibilities, criticising the decision to bail out SAA while failing to fund the public protector adequately.

The former public protector highlighted issues with implementation, saying though some knew of the fruits of democracy, they failed to see that in their own lives.

"People can't suffer silently anymore as the Constitution promises them a better life," she said.

While acknowledging that 22 years was not long enough to completely transform South African society, she said the disparities should have lessened.

"We have prioritised black economic empowerment but major beneficiaries are the people who draft the policies," said Madonsela.

But for the most part her address was focused on the current plight of students, who have been demonstrating at institutions of higher learning across the country calling for free quality higher education.

She asked that South Africans learn from Kathrada and his generation's spirit of compassion to heed the call and help find the funds needed to achieve this goal.

Trapped in social injustices

Madonsela shared her worries over students who slept in bathrooms while attempting to obtain an education and the importance of equality in this regard.

At the same time she called for more dialogue around the issue and for those who were able to contribute financially to do their part to help solve the problem.

"If fees don't fall, people facing inequality will remain trapped in social injustices and poverty," she warned.

Madonsela said that collectively the country could ensure that the dream of justice, carried by many like Kathrada was achieved, stating that to do so the country needed an accountable state that kept its promises.

Read more on:    public protector  |  ahmed kathrada  |  thuli madonsela

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