We must work together - Madonsela

2010-10-12 21:31

Pretoria - Public Protector Thulisile Madonsela wants to collaborate with other oversight institutions to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks during investigations.

She said on Tuesday: "We are working together in a multi-agency approach.

"We need to emerge with a process for managing overlaps and systematised collaboration between these oversight agencies."

Speaking at a three-day conference on public protector commonwealth good governance, Madonsela said: "At times we have to undertake investigations together or lend each other resources."

The conference, where the roles of oversight agencies in promoting good governance was discussed, formed part of a broader campaign called the Public Protector Good Governance Week.

This campaign aimed to enhance public awareness of the public protector's mandates, role and services. It was launched in Mamelodi on Monday.

Although there was low community turnout, 15 complaints were laid on the spot.

Referring to the collaboration between institutions, Madonsela said the idea was to look at the statutory mandate and overlaps within all 10 oversight institutions - such as the independent complaints directorate, the human rights commission and the auditor general.

"We need to discuss how we manage to ensure that we do not duplicate the work."


The mandate for oversight agencies went beyond just being reactive to each complainant or incident of bad governance and maladministration.

"Half the time when there is bad service it's because there's no governance there... and when there is corruption it's because there is a breakdown of rules and procedures," she said.

The conference took place after the release of the Mo Ibrahim index of African governance in which South Africa came fifth out of 53 countries.

Madonsela said she was proud that the country was at the top, but noted that a good athlete competes against him or herself.

"It's important that we measure ourselves against our own Constitution, aspirations of our people and the promises that have been made to our people by those that have sought a mandate to govern," she said.

Delivering a keynote address on behalf of President Jacob Zuma, Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi acknowledged that government had a greater responsibility to fight corruption in public institutions.

With this is mind, government had established a cabinet inter-ministerial committee to co-ordinate government efforts to combat corruption, he said.