Fast service for slow protest

2016-03-11 11:15
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela
Picture: Tebogo Letsie

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela Picture: Tebogo Letsie

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Pietermaritzburg - Outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has suggested the country speed up service delivery if it wants sustainable peace.

Speaking at the University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Law on Wednesday night, Madonsela said that as long as there are injustices in South African communities, sustainable peace will not be achieved. Although Madonsela said there remained many inequalities in a democratic society that had promised an improved quality of life for all, which is why people are fighting for improved service delivery. But Madonsela warned such violent service delivery protests put SA’s hard won democracy in jeopardy. “It is okay for our people to protest, but it is not a strong democracy when people’s protest results in violence.

“People should find it easy to engage with those entrusted with power. Going to the streets should be the last resort,” she said.

Madonsela’s term as the public protector ends in October. She said she will be taking a one-year break and will go back to civil society.

Madonsela said she will not be reapplying for the position. “It is a seven year non-renewable position and in any event, I don’t think any reasonable person would want to reapply to be a public protector … If the public protector was an ombudsman like in Europe, which is a safe space, then it would be fine.

“But with us there are two problems; we investigate corruption and ethics and that directly places us in a position where we supervise the work of everyone who works for government, and you wouldn’t want to do that job for more than seven years,” she said.


Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  service delivery  |  protest

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