Newsmaker 2011: SA’s own woman of steel

2011-12-23 11:31

The year will be remembered as the one in which Public Protector Thuli Nomkhosi Madonsela took a few powerful bulls by the horns.

Madonsela showed her steel and refused to be intimidated while carrying out her mandate to hold government and the executive
to account.

In her two-and-a-half-year stint, she has already investigated cases against President Jacob Zuma for his non-disclosure of financial interests; against former communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda’s business interests; against cooperative governance minister Sicelo Shiceka’s big spending; and, most notably, against police General Bheki Cele and the R1.6 billion police lease deals with businessman Roux Shabangu.

Her probes have forced Zuma to call for a second Cabinet reshuffle within a year.

This saw Shiceka and Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde being fired, while Cele was suspended.

All of this emanated from Madonsela’s unwavering stance against political skullduggery, incompetence and corruption.

In 2011, Madonsela also survived possible “arrest”, intimidation by SAPS intelligence, and threats to her and her staff’s lives, resulting in her asking for more security and bodyguards.

In the midst of all this, Madonsela’s severely understaffed office completed investigating 14 000 of the more than 18 000 complaints she received.

The majority of complaints were lodged by ordinary South Africans dealing with bread-and-butter issues and service delivery deficiencies.

Madonsela’s reign as Public Protector has also changed the perception of this chapter 9 institution, considered ineffective and toothless under her predecessors, to being the place of first or last resort for ordinary and powerful people who want to keep government to account.

In June Madonsela famously announced that she would not be intimidated and would not stop “speaking truth to power” – something she plans to continue doing in 2012.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.