Better communication - Madonsela's advice to successor

2016-08-25 09:55
Thuli Madonsela (File, Netwerk24)

Thuli Madonsela (File, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – The next public protector should ensure there is better communication with government, Thuli Madonsela said on Wednesday.

This had been one of her weaknesses and she hoped her successor would ensure disagreements with government were resolved quietly.

“If he or she repeats what I have done then they stagnate,” she said at the 29th Annual Labour Law Conference.

"We are enforcers of rules, but the rules are created by government. When we disagree about the rules we need to find a quiet space to discuss what the rules say before we have to enforce it. I hope my successor does that."

One of the biggest battles of her tenure involved her report on President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead. She had recommended that Zuma repays a reasonable amount of the R246m spent on so-called security upgrades. Government and Zuma ignored her report. The EFF eventually took the matter to the Constitutional Court.

It ruled on March 31 that her findings were binding and that Zuma violated the Constitution by ignoring them. Treasury subsequently recommended that Zuma repays R7.8m.

‘You will be helped’

Madonsela said the violence in Vuwani, Limpopo, following a decision to shift municipal boundaries, meant Chapter 9 institutions like the Public Protector were not strong enough.

“People should know that you don't have to burn anything. You come to these institutions and you will be helped. My successor should work with government to say how do we make sure people will be heard and helped in time.”

Parliament's ad hoc committee tasked with finding a new Public Protector on Wednesday picked Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane to present to the National Assembly for endorsement by August 31.

Madonsela’s seven-year term ends in mid-October.

Read more on:    public protector  |  thuli madonsela  |  johannesburg

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