Cracks in oversight should be a concern – Thuli Madonsela

2014-08-21 08:25

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Cracks and weaknesses in public oversight should be of concern to Parliament, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has said.

Madonsela yesterday told a workshop organised by two portfolio committees – justice and correctional services, and women in the presidency – that some oversight structures had incomplete mandates and may not have the power to remedy administrative wrongs or conduct failures.

Madonsela gave the example of whistle blowers left in limbo for 10 months since October 2013, with one out of work since December.

She said she referred the complaint to the Public Service Commission which indicated that it had no jurisdiction to investigate.

The complaint was then referred to the Special Investigations Unit whose proclamation was signed but withheld. There has been no investigation on the matter to date, she said.

She explained that the National Development Plan recognised overlaps and noted cracks and poor coordination.

The development plan recommends strengthening through resourcing, improved coordination and respect of her office, Madonsela said.

She said that even though overlaps were impossible to eradicate since her office operates within a multi-agency oversight structure, the focus should be on preventing duplication.

Madonsela said what was important was not to start investigations when another structure was already investigating.

She reiterated her appeal for adequate resourcing to help her office live up to its constitutional mandate, which required it to be accessible to all people and communities.

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