Thuli Madonsela welcomes Law Society’s comments

2013-05-18 09:29

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela welcomed the Law Society of SA’s (LSSA) comments on her being questioned by a parliamentary portfolio committee, her office said.

“She is further encouraged by the society’s commitment to partnering to promote a ‘just and corrupt[ion]-free state’ and ensuring that victims of administrative wrongs of the state get justice,” her office said yesterday in a statement.

“The Public Protector thanks all those who are engaging in this matter, because democracy is a dialogue.”

On May 2, ANC MP John Jeffery voiced concern about whether the protector’s investigations were aligned with its resources.

Jeffery questioned the investigation of a dispute between former National Consumer Commissioner Mamodupi Mohlala-Mulaudzi and trade and industry department head Lionel October, after Mohlala-Mulaudzi lost two cases on the matter in the labour court.

Jeffery said he doubted the protector was the appropriate forum for labour issues.

Madonsela disagreed, and said she believed no ombud anywhere else in the world would be asked to explain such issues.

The LSSA said on Wednesday it was worried about Parliament’s “inappropriate questioning” of Madonsela.

It said South Africa was a constitutional and not a parliamentary democracy.

“We are of the view that the recent line of questioning by portfolio committee members requesting the Public Protector to explain why she has investigated specific cases is wholly inappropriate,” it said.

“Parliamentary oversight is limited to how the office of the Public Protector uses public moneys and to protecting and rendering assistance to the Public Protector in dealing with complaints.”

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