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The public protector must be fired

18 January 2014, 09:01
The high level of violent protests is indicative of the incapacity and redundancy of the public protector. The public protector's main job is as simple as the job title entails: To protect South Africans against public maladministration which is the main cause of the deadly public unrests in the country at the moment.

The death of Andries Tatane, the deaths in Marikana and now Mothotlung would not need commissions of inquiry and costly investigations if we had a proactive and competent public protector who is in touch with ordinary South Africans.

 Like the weather bureau, a competent public Protector would have highlighted and made public all hotspots in advance so clearly that when it happens everyone will know that we have been forewarned and it is the state that failed its citizens.

 This will allow the public to easily hold leaders accountable in a peaceful and democratic manner. This, I beleve, is the reason for the creation of this chapter 9 intitution which is The Public Protector.

The public protector knows very well that the inKandla homestead is not the only project whose costs escalated out of control, but does not even come out and say it because it makes her more popular among and almost love by those she admisre the most. There is a stanza in Thabo Mbeki's 'I am an African' speech which says:

"I have seen the destruction of all sense of self-esteem, the consequent of striving to be what one is not, simply to acquire some of the benefits which those who had approved themselves as masters had ensured that they enjoy."

I hope the above statement explains why our Public Protector is more inclined to concerns of whites and the affluent than the majority of South Africans

Before the inKandla issue, the Bapo Ba Mogale Trditional community have raised various issues that required the intervention of the public protector. One of the burning issues is the escalating costs of a palace whose initial amount was less than 30 million, but has now escalated even far beyond the inKandla project.

The public protetor chose to prioritise political delicacies such as D account and royalties instead of going tothe root cause of maladminstration in Bapong and correct it in order to speadily curb maladministration of community resources and promote peaceful development of the said community.

The Bapo Ba Mogale community issue is a classic case that could have been easily and speadily resolved by an effective and efficient public protector a long time ago.

But what did Advocate Thuli do? She actually organised more costly hearings without even attempting to deal with the root of maladministration which the administrative structure of the community concerned.

Had she even attempted to do her job, she'd havediscovered that the ommunity themselves know exactly where the problem lies and hers would have been a far easier and cosf effective excercise.

However, our public protector prefers the easy route that will make her more popular which is to speak about the money and arouse emotions whose result is still cause far greater problems in Bapong as we speak..

For an example, when the public protector says the Bapo Ba Mogale community has tasked her to investigate D account, who exactly is she talking about? This is the fundamental question an efficient public protector would need to satisfy before even attempting to get involved.

Failure to answer this question would automatically make the public protector guilty of inciting violent protests because she'd cause unnessary frustrations, particularly if she involves SCOPA before satisfying the question of who tasked her.

 Let me make this question clear as it has the danger of being misinterpreted: The public protector must have established whether she was tasked by a structure contemplated by the Act regulating issues of traditional leadership.

 If such structure does not exist or replaced by administrator, you find out why even before you invole SCOPA or any institution that will make pronouncements that have potential to cause uncontrollable conflict in the community. If that taditional community is put under administration, you find out what icapacitates the structure contemplated in the laws of this country, which is the traditional council. Her duty therefore would have been complete a long time ago, but it is not as we speak.

There even a talk by SCOPA officials that they will come as private citizens to help Bapo Ba Mogale Traditional Community if their the matter goes beyond their term of office. What a nonsence? What does that even mean? Does it mean that those individual have now become a law unto themselves that will rescue the community? It is a sign that the public protector involved SCOPA prematurely.

Now, look at what she's doing in Bapong and ask yourself if  she can be trusted with bigger issues that involve the hole of South African citizenry such as issues involving a most contested position of State President and my contention is that she's not qualified to do so and that those scorecards and praises are nothing more than rewards for unnecessary movement instead of productivity.

 Thuli Madonsela has turned the office of public protector into a public hazard which is totally ineffective for attainment of peaceful development of a democratic South Africa which is the purpose of her office.

As we go towards elections, the opposition has seen this loophole and would attempt to use it to divert Africans from their path towards total emancipation from the 400 years of oppression which began with the establishment of the Portuguese empire on the African continent. The public protector office has become a potent weapon for opposition politics and that makes it more of a public hazard than a protector.

Political parties in parliament whose objective is not merely to take us back to apartheid and/or to the days of white supremacy, but really want to build a prosperous, democratic and peaceful South Africa know that praising the current public protect is opportunistic.

Another classic example of public protector's incapacity is the problems of violent service delivery protests. Is it not amazing that the public protector's office does not have forcast of these protests? If the office of the public protector was really functional one would be able to simply log in and see if they'd likely have their cars pelted with stones along a certain route. But no, the public protector waits for complaints, take her time to determine if she will help and then start making noise after several months.

If she were to be honest, the only chapter9 institution that actually does the work of public protector is SCOPA and the Public Protector's role seems to be merely to give tasks to SCOPA.

Madibeng Municipality is the municipality I happen to reside in and thus am acquainted with its issues. In this case, the public protector should have investigated whether there are functional institutions of governance as contemplated by the laws of this country regarding municipalities and find out bottlenecks in their functioning.

For an example, find out how on earth an area can have so many leaders and yet experience violent protests. In Marikan and Mothutlung, for an example, there are Councillors, Community Development Workers, Community Facilitators, Ward Committees, Traditional Councillors, Head me/women, Chiefs, etc; does the public protector who they are and how they function for every ward. A competent public protector would wonder what exactly hinders public participation to the effect they explode in violent protest.

 A competent public protector would have made clear recommendations on what needs to be done and having such an action oriented President as Honourable Jacob Zuma, I know the current frustrations would have been dealt with.

Let me make it clear that the nature of violent protests in our country indicate that the community feel unprotected. Simply put, the kind of protests we have, show that we don't have a public protector.

For the public to even go to the extent of pelting unsuspecting cars with stones, using guns, pangas and knobkirries to try and secure their bargaining right in a work place with a results that they end up killing members of the public and public servants is a true sign that the public protector's priorities do not go further than her weave and makeup- she has totally lost touch with the public she is meant to protect and must be fired with immidiate effect!  

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