SA can't rest on its laurels - Madonsela

2011-10-17 15:30

Pretoria - South Africa's fifth place on the Ibrahim Index was not grounds for the country to rest on its laurels, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Monday.

South Africa's score had improved by a mere half-a-percent since 2008, she told the Public Protector's Good Governance Conference in Pretoria.

"It's a good starting point. It's not a cause to relax."

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation's Ibrahim Index of African Governance assesses governance and leadership in African countries.


Madonsela said that when South Africa's Constitution was adopted in 1996, those in power had to accept they were not only accountable to Parliament and the courts, but also to Chapter 9 institutions such as the Public Service Commission and the public protector.

"Public power is borrowed. When this power is abused, then the people cannot benefit."

She said there were those who still thought of her office in a "before the Constitution" mindset and failed to accept the reality of its mandate.

"I do not have to be a court of law to ask you questions. I don't have to be a court of law to ask you to correct your actions."

Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma told the conference good governance should not be seen as an end in itself. It needed to improve the lives of citizens.

She said for good governance to be achieved a state needed the capacity to do so. This would be achieved through the recruitment of capable, dependable and flexible public servants.

"We must be wary of people who are just chasing [salary] packages," said Dlamini-Zuma.

  • Dudleygbu - 2011-10-17 15:38

    u guys are kidding me right? we're one of the most corrupt governments in the world, how the hell do u win a prize for that? I guess they measured against the rest of Africa, in which case, its a clear indication of just how low everything's sunk, when you award a government for 30billion rand written off to corruption? Heres another nugget for all you ANC chronies... Yes, Mr Zuma doesnt use the presidential plane, he's given it to the vice pres to use. Mr Zuma flies with FortuneAir in this pimped 727, and your tax money is being used to fund the flights @ USD$200per km!!!!!!!!

      Vincent - 2011-10-17 15:51

      That plane has a shower...

      Dudleygbu - 2011-10-17 16:02

      it does :)

      Michael - 2011-10-17 16:04

      Read b4 u comment @Dudley - we are 5th in AFRICA! Anyhow, that aside (given the history of governments in AFRICA), being 5th is not exactly something they should be patting themselves on the back for.

      Dudleygbu - 2011-10-17 16:08

      i was being sarcastic...

      marco.tomaso - 2011-10-17 16:12

      From the New York Times newspaper comes this: South Africa Slips From the Moral High Ground says ALAN COWELL. "South Africa has never liked to see itself in any way as run-of-the-mill,instead preferred to cast itself as aloof from the corruption, strife and misrule so often associated with the continent to its north.Hence Thabo Mbeki's calling the country's first democratic election in 1994 as "an African Renaissance". However South Africa have become a different under its newest coterie of the powerful around President Jacob Zuma and has since lost its claim to the moral high ground.Archbishop Desmond M.Tutu, said recently of the ANC "Mr.Zuma,you and your government don’t represent me...You represent your own interests." Corruption and patronage have replaced principle and promised transparency in South Africa.Author Njabulo S. Ndebele wrote "South Africa have become corrupted by the attractions of instant wealth, reflecting a potentially catastrophic collapse in the once cohesive understanding of the post-apartheid project as embodied in our constitution.The ANC functions as a state within the state,and it thinks it is the state." Dr.R.Simangaliso Kumalo,the head of the School of Religion and Theology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal,wrote:"Pretoria seemed to side with dictators like President Robert G.Mugabe in Zimbabwe or Col.Muammar Qaddafi in Libya blending its debts to those who supported it in the liberation struggle with a hard-nosed pragmatism.

      marco.tomaso - 2011-10-17 16:14

      The Washington Post newspaper: South Africa loses billions of dollars due to negligence and corruption by the ANC Government. "A South African government minister reportedly spends the equivalent of nearly $70,000 of taxpayer money on a trip to Switzerland to visit his girlfriend in jail who is facing drug charges,then tells his president that he was on official business.He claims to have been on sick leave since February.Another minister and the police chief were implicated in an unlawful deal to lease police buildings at inflated prices,which then cost taxpayers more than $250 million dollars. These incidents pale beside the sprawling,routine corruption and negligence in South African governance exposed by Willie Hofmeyr,head of an anti-corruption agency called the Special Investigating Unit.He told Parliament that around 20% of all government procurements,or about $3.8 billion,go missing each year-most of it stolen and the rest untraceable because of negligence.The South African government barely blinked since that report was made. Hofmeyr is currently investigating more than 900 cases of questionable contracts and conflicts of interest,valued at more than $635 million.The worst theft,he said,takes place at the local level,where there wasn't that much oversight. Recommendations were made to Zuma to act against corrupt ministers.And what is Zuma's response to all that?A presidential spokesman said that Zuma would respond to the recommendations when he is ready.

  • Dean - 2011-10-17 15:45

    Ha ha ha - What "laurels"???

  • Peter - 2011-10-17 15:47

    Improved 50 basis points in 3 years What a joke. Who is ahead of good old SA - Zimbabwe????

      sven.gohre - 2011-10-17 16:10

      Ranked as follows:- 1) Mauritius 2) Cape Verde 3) Botswana 4) Seychelles 5) South Africa 6) Namibia 7) Ghana 8) Tunisia 9) Egypt 10) Lesotho

      Dudleygbu - 2011-10-17 16:27

      and i guess if it wasnt for Cape Town, we wouldnt be on that list...

      Simon - 2011-10-17 16:33

      All the countries above SA are small countries with tiny populations. So less people to Govern and also less politicians involved.

  • braamc - 2011-10-17 15:55

    Look at Africa, rotten and corrupt

  • Sean - 2011-10-17 16:06

    Please don't call me negative, I prefer 'realistic'.... Africa is hardly a yard stick of note. The best thing about this post is that SA lady politicians appear to be making some encouraging comments....

      Dudleygbu - 2011-10-17 16:09

      agreed! yay.....

      Gary - 2011-10-17 16:37

      well said

  • Ga - 2011-10-17 16:09

    Laurels?? You mean the last outpost in Southern Africa. From the Belgian Congo-Northern Rhodesia-Rhodesia-SWA-Portugues Mozambique, South Africa is the last of the Southern African continent with the accummulation of the pushed down 'european' population being driven south. Now there is nowhere else to go so the current situation is a high standard of educated and tax paying europeans that lift the bar for all in the banana republic. However the majority of monkies as for all over the continent are in charge and they will eventually erode the standards of education, commerce, investment, agriculture and everything else they come into contact with. Laurels are pages in history, like a 2011 matric is like a 1990 std 6. Keep sliding!! Malema is greasing the tracks for everyone.

  • VaalDonkie - 2011-10-17 16:10

    We used to be #1 in Africa, so yes, no reason to celebrate.

  • Simon - 2011-10-17 16:15

    lol, in Africa. Where half the countries are currently involved in civil wars. We should be miles ahead of any other country in africa and at least on a par with other developing overseas countries. How are we meant to compete if we are not?

  • Buti - 2011-10-17 16:20

    How much did the apartheid goverment use for corruption? Who is asking? Why is no one asking?

      Larissa - 2011-10-17 16:40

      Who Cares?

      mundu.olewega - 2011-10-17 16:40

      All governments have elements of corruption, but what the ANC are doing is outright plundering. Everything they do is money wasted and stolen. At least the old govt got stuff built that didn't fall down a few weeks later. The poor suffer for the plundering of SA the most.

      rlmbennett - 2011-10-17 17:38

      Two wrongs don't make a right. STOP DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE.

  • Doz - 2011-10-17 16:47

    If the current government believe 5th is anything vaguely representing 'laurels' then heaven help us. The competition is the likes of Libya, Syria, Somlalis, DRC, CAR - anything less than a resounding 1st place should be considered nothing short of abject failure !!

  • Alva - 2011-10-17 17:12

    Keep doing your job Thuli. We like it when you kick ass!

  • John - 2011-10-17 17:19

    When is Madonsela running for president?

  • Daaivark - 2011-10-17 17:22

    I have personally never heard of an Ibrahim index and I am not a youngster

  • kriekv - 2011-10-17 17:47

    I have heard that the rented jet has a roof carrier?

  • joeballito - 2011-10-17 18:24

    Dissapointed in Madonsela,instead of sending a message of trying to improve it sounds as though she is happy with the status quo. She has just dropped a couple of knotches. i wonder where S.A would be rated on a scale of the civilised countries?

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