Public Protector candidate Janine Myburgh: I'm committed to fairness

2016-07-08 07:34
Public Protector nominee Janine Myburgh. (Supplied, Janine Myburgh)

Public Protector nominee Janine Myburgh. (Supplied, Janine Myburgh)

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Cape Town - Public Protector nominee and president of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry Janine Myburgh said filling the vacant position was the furthest thing from her mind when she first learnt of her nomination.

Myburgh, 47, an advocate, has been nominated along with 72 other candidates for the position that will open up in October this year, after the popular Thuli Madonsela leaves following a successful seven-year term.

"I was truly surprised, honoured yet filled with excitement as this is an opportunity to serve, which is always an honour," she said.

She had been contacted by colleagues who suggested she make herself available, and after serious thought, gladly accepted the nomination.

First woman president of Cape Chamber

Myburgh grew up in Parow, Cape Town, and still sleeps in her childhood room.

She obtained her BProc degree from the University of Port Elizabeth, now Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, in 1994.

She is managing director of her own boutique law firm, Myburgh Attorneys, and an accredited mediator and facilitator at Family Mediators' Association of the Cape.

Her law firm specialises in mediation, facilitation, matrimonial law, motor vehicle injury claims and general litigation.

She is also the first woman to serve as chair and president of the Board of the Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry, currently serving her fifth term. She turns 48 on October 19, the day Madonsela's contract terminates.

Committed to fairness

After many years serving as an advocate and owner of her own company since 1999, Myburgh was elected to attend the judicial training course to serve on the bench in 2007.

In July 2011, she was selected for, attended and completed the advanced judicial training course with a distinction pass rate, allowing her to serve as a judge.

"I was one of only 14 people selected to attend nationally," she said of the achievement.

She was granted honorary membership by the United Nations Association of South Africa in 2007, in recognition of contributions to South African society and to the advancement of the goals of the UN.

She is also the Cape Law Society and Law Society of South Africa National Forum representative, as appointed by the Minister of Justice in 2015.

When asked what her greatest characteristic is, she said:

"I believe that a clear articulation of the problem is crucial: There are many ways of solving the right problem; there are no ways of solving the wrong problem.

"These are what I would consider my best achievements, but the characteristics that I believe got me there, is my commitment to fairness, my commitment to creating a platform for equal opportunity to succeed.

Leadership and pressure

Myburgh also opened up about the possibilities of intimidation and the pressures of the job, saying she wants to lead by empowering others.

"Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others," she said, quoting John Maxwell.

"I see myself as a hardworking, determined, honest, competent, diligent and committed person. When you have to demonstrate fairness it always comes at a cost. I know that what I have to do is what is right and what is not necessarily easy.

"I am an independent thinker, independent of any pressures that may prevail."

'Trusted, accessible'

In closing, Myburgh said: "Becoming the new Public Protector would be an enormous honour and privilege.

"I would strive to be a trusted and accessible Public Protector that rights administrative wrongs and consistently acts with integrity and accountability. I will adhere to responsive decision making, committed to excellence in service and good governance in all state affairs and public administration in any sphere of government.

"I will ensure that I without fear or favour adhere to the vision of the Public Protector should I be honoured to be selected to serve the people of South Africa."

- If you would like to comment or object to any names on the list, send your comments or objections to Vhonani Ramaano by Friday.

Read more on:    public protector  |  thuli madonsela  |  cape town  |  judiciary

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