ANC MPs: Madonsela paid too much

2012-02-08 22:35

Cape Town ANC MPs on Wednesday suggested the public protector's salary may be reviewed and capped, as Thuli Madonsela earned more than most judges.

The chair of Parliament's portfolio committee on justice, Luwellyn Landers, made it plain that Madonsela's salary could not be reduced while she was in the post, but said MPs may amend the law to limit the remuneration of her eventual successor.

Madonsela appeared before the committee to plead the case for giving her deputy an increase, but soon found herself grilled over her own pay - now at R1.789m - in a tense three-hour meeting.

The protector earns the same salary as provincial premiers and judges at the Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court.

ANC MP John Jeffery asked why this was the case and claimed that, if one included an annual gratuity of more than R1m, she earned more than the chief justice.

"Can we just look at the public protector's salary?" he asked.


"Where does your contention come from that the public protector's package is linked to that of an appeal court judge? And what is this gratuity and where does it come from?"

"The intention of Parliament when it passed the legislation was [remuneration] 'on a par with a high court judge' and not any other judge."

Madonsela protested: "I think, Honourable Jeffery, you have ambushed me because I did not know my own package was going to be under discussion and I have not reflected on that."

She corrected his reading of the Public Protector's Act, saying it stipulated that the office's salary should be "no less" than that of a high court judge.

It was last reviewed during the term of her predecessor Lawrence Mushwana and was at that point pegged against the pay of an appeal court judge.

The gratuity is paid out in lieu of a pension at the end of the protector's seven-year term, Madonsela explained, and firmly denied getting paid more than the chief justice.

"I don't believe that I am paid a cent more than a judge of the SCA or the Constitutional Court."

Madonsela and Jeffery clashed on several further points.

He rejected her understanding that the committee agreed last year to adjust the deputy public protector's salary, saying it may have made sympathetic noises at most.

When Madonsela requested the minutes of the meeting where the matter was discussed, she was told there were none.

Jeffery said her work was different to that of a judge and suggested that perhaps she ought to be benchmarked, instead, against the less well-paid heads of other chapter nine institutions.

"You do write reports, but it is not the same as a court judgment and you don't sit and hear cases. So that is the problem with benchmarking."

The chairman of the Human Rights Commission earned little more half of what she did, he said.

"I do think a review is necessary, because these disparities are quite great."

Landers then told MPs: "I would like you to think whether the act may need to be amended. The question is should there be a ceiling or a cap?

"I was a member of this committee when we drafted this legislation and approved it. My sense is that we now have unintended consequences.

"I am saying this to you in your presence, please don't take it personally advocate Madonsela, we now have a situation where you earn the same as a judge of the SCA and some members of the committee are saying: 'Is that correct? Was that the intention of the legislature?' I believe not."

He said the committee would review the deputy public protector's pay, but it seems unlikely it will heed Madonsela's request to backdate an increase to 2005 when Mamiki Shai was appointed.

Lawmakers queried Madonsela's argument that it was wrong that her deputy earned a third less than she did.

They also questioned Mushwana's unilateral decision to move the deputy up one level on the salary scale, nearly doubling her pay, without seeking Parliament's approval.

"The Auditor General said nothing about it so we must assume it is fine, but it has left some of us very uncomfortable," Landers said.

  • Mboneni - 2012-02-08 23:02

    John Jeffery is out of tune,he can not be in the pannel and voted for the pay package of the Public Pretector and now claims the amount is too high.The Public Protector deserve an amount higher than a premier because of the volume of work she is doing.Hands off our Public Protector

      TaniaSandraSteyn - 2012-02-09 00:53

      How much money is she saving the SA public? How can a completely useless person earn R800 000 and not be accountable? There are a lot of people in Government earning salaries way above their capabilities.

      PB - 2012-02-09 08:05

      Tania, I think you have hit the nail on the head!

      sandra.j.rennie - 2012-02-09 15:32

      Thuli Mandonsela deserves every cent she earns as far as I am concerned. If any MP's have her brains then they can complain, but I'm afraid she is far too smart for them ! Atta Girl !

      yolie.Landa - 2012-02-09 15:51


      Amanda - 2012-04-21 10:09

      She is annoying the ANC ,getting to close too the truth about the corrupted government officials, She should be getting commission on the amounts she is revealing as far as corruption is concerned. GOOD FOR YOU Me Madonsela ,keep it up!

      Alf - 2012-04-21 12:30

      I fully agree. Unlike most premiers, our public protector actually DOES her job and she does it well. How much do the MP's earn, excluding the "travelgate" and other perks and not taking into account the toliet paper, toilet seats etc.!! that get nicked from the Parliament building! Leave our public protector alone or rather suppoert her in her job instead of trying to find something you can pin on her! Madonsela for President!

  • bnnyoni - 2012-02-08 23:10

    she deserve more at-least five million will do for her.

      Peter - 2012-02-09 05:56

      Ja, they can take it from the education budget. She gets paid enough, she's a civil servant, she does not need any more. We're not exactly the wealthiest country on the planet. We have a few other issues in the country that need money spent on, instead it all goes to fat cat salaries.

      PB - 2012-02-09 08:12

      bnnyoni - exactly - she DESERVES her pay, unlike the bulk of those who sit in parliament (when they actually pitch up).

      PB - 2012-02-09 08:15

      Peter, read the article again - she didn't ask for an increase for herself - she went there to get her deputy (who most likely does as good a job as Thuli herself) a better paypacket.

      sean.redmond3 - 2012-02-09 12:52

      @PB, who deserves R5000.00 a DAY, come on, that is over kill.

  • bernpm - 2012-02-08 23:12

    Dear Madonsela, if you bite at ankles, you might be kicked in the face. Life is tough but you have proven that you can handle it. Stay put!!

  • cameronjohnprice - 2012-02-08 23:16

    I suppose that is one way the anc can get back at her.

  • evanknowles - 2012-02-08 23:20

    There's an awfully large amount of anti Madonsela stuff flying around -- she annoying a couple too many people there. Leave our public protector alone -- she's the only one we've got.

  • schewitz - 2012-02-08 23:31

    The ANC want her blood as she unveils corruption in government. I guess going after her pay check is one way to go about it.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-02-08 23:33

    I think Thuli should be paid a commission on the corruption she exposes. But you know, seriously. Where does this thing about government officials earning millions come from? Some even steal millions more and then still take a bonus of a few more million.Some even get caught out every now and then but still get paid millions for staying at home and doing nothing. This is absolute nonsense. We have so many poor people in the country and then many more who are without a job. It is not as if government officials are so highly qualified that they actually command these astronomical salaries. They are generally mere deployments of a corrupt political organisation, who cannot initiate change for the better, and cannot take responsibility for their failures.They are only in it for the money. Thuli Madonsela is about the only one that actually means something to the people of S.A. The rest of them should be paid a salary of not more than R20 000 per month. This is enough for any family to live on.

      Ronald - 2012-02-09 06:50

      When the ANC came into government I never thought that when they said the ANC would have an open door policy, they meant open doors for ANC buddies to the treasury.

      Merven - 2012-02-09 07:44

      Now that's a good idea maserati, maybe anybody that spill the beans on corrupt colleagues or servants must get commission.

  • Michael - 2012-02-08 23:42

    Strange, this coming from the one of the highest paid governments in the world. The second highest in fact if I Remember correctly. They also happen to be the worst performing. Bunch of hypocrites. Go figure...

      Peter - 2012-02-09 05:58

      In a predominantly poor country. Just shows where this lots priorities really are.

  • Anton Mönnig - 2012-02-08 23:48

    Twats! Of ALL public servants, she's one of the few I can count on my one hand that's actually doing her job!

  • jurgen.eksteen - 2012-02-08 23:59

    The only person doing a good job in this mess of a government and they want to reduce her pay ... wake the F@ck up idiot MP's.

  • qwynne.price - 2012-02-09 00:27

    give the woman a bells! This woman works damn hard and is just what we need in government position - come on!!!

  • Blip - 2012-02-09 00:36

    ANC MPs earn far too much. Cap and reduce their wages and remove all perks --- the voters of SA.

      PB - 2012-02-09 08:17

      It would be great if the MPs salaries could be relative to the success of their departments - there would be a hell of a lot of them who would have to pay in, rather than get paid if that were the case!

  • Tuner - 2012-02-09 01:32

    I agree that they should look at reducing all public servants' salaries and get rid of this bonus farce. They are getting paid far too much and then still get super allowances for luxurious cars and other benefits. Pure greed. Then there will be more money available to assist the poor.

      Merven - 2012-02-09 07:46

      Tuner, if the senior officials just stop doing corruption, there will be more money to assist the poor.

  • miyo27 - 2012-02-09 02:26

    R149,000 per month?? FOCK!

      frans.visserdsb - 2012-02-09 09:06

      dude - if you compare that to the salaries paid to a comparable director in a public company its peanuts. If my company were to appoint her as a director, we'd pay that much - if not more - with a smile because you'd get maximum BEE points for an extremely competent person. So where would she be worth more for SA - as a director in some bank? or protecting our interests as a country? I think she deserves every cent. SA has a huge lack of skilled and competent people - thanks to BEE and the subsequent brain drain.

  • Juan - 2012-02-09 03:22

    Thuli is one of the few people in government who actually contributes something to the country. She should be paid the highest in my opinion, and the rest of the useless mobs' salaries cut.

  • clivegoss - 2012-02-09 04:10

    The lady is paid to little. For the size of her balls she could do with an increase and a bonus. The ANC mp's are only stirring &@#$ because she doesn't mind who is who. You do the deed you pay! ! Love her

  • MakaNyawuzenkukhu - 2012-02-09 04:30

    That salary was agreed long time ago, do n't divert her mind by unjustified threats. Bring all those thieves to justice Mandonsela before they interfere with your job. We care less about personal intersts now as we want the best for the public. MPs can you moniter delivery?

      PB - 2012-02-09 08:19


      Hugh - 2012-02-09 10:07

      The salary was designed for her predecessor, their yes man. Now she's burning their asses, they are gunning for her. This Lady is our saviour. Double her pay.

  • Sinudeity - 2012-02-09 05:06

    The MP's also get paid too much.

  • brionyl.french - 2012-02-09 05:27

    The entire governmental body needs salary and ego reviews.... They bleeding the poor dry and they dont have access to the web to even learn that they fools

      Peter - 2012-02-09 06:01

      Amazing not one of them ever brings up reducing their salaries in the name of making more money available to uplift those less advantaged. All of them are in it for the money, nothing to do with serving the people.

  • Sarel Brits - 2012-02-09 06:02

    Crafty bastards these ANC lot, Reduce the thorn in your side`s salary so they resign, now the next one is going to be a idiot because nobody worthwhile wants to get paid peanuts. You get the same effect as with the disbanding of the hawks without the egg on your face.CRAFTYý

  • stuartsa - 2012-02-09 06:07

    Pay a person of her calibre a market related salary, for the critical work she does.. and R1.8m will look like pocket money. Pay her more!

      Silvana - 2012-02-09 06:19

      Is there a public protector salary market to relate to?

      stuartsa - 2012-02-09 06:31

      She's a lawyer... Pretty big market.

  • Silvana - 2012-02-09 06:11

    I agree that R1,7million is a bit extravagant, BUT she is doing a damn fine job as opposed to the greedy, overpaid, thieving, incompetent MPs who earn a salary on a par with hers if not more.

      Albert - 2012-02-09 06:59

      She is like the sportpeople,they don`t have a long lifespan.

      Hugh - 2012-02-09 10:09

      She'd earn double that in the private sector. Check out what partners in big Law firm earn, then decide.

  • Roy - 2012-02-09 06:17

    And so she should if one looks at how well she does her job without showing favours to anyone. She is not like the rest of the ANC people in goverment who are absent on a regular basis or don't attend meetings at all and are thieves by stealing in one form or the other.

  • Vic - 2012-02-09 06:26

    She's probably doing a great deal more, than a whole bunch of those useless,imcompetent MPs put together, who don't even deserve half of their salaries.

  • seymore.butt - 2012-02-09 06:48

    Well Mr she making you ANC lot look bad sitting on your fat a*ses? or are you just afraid that she is so good that under her scrutiny ANC caders don't stand a chance to save their faces? For a change we have a person who works for her salary so before you start pointing fingers at her...start from the lazy bunch sitting around your circle (circus I mean).

  • J.D. - 2012-02-09 06:54

    Probably one of the few officials who come close to justify their income.

  • ian.rundle1 - 2012-02-09 07:01

    It is a lot of money BUT she does do a loty. That is a darned side more than can be said for Jeffery and his ANC cronies who are working diligently towards f!!c!ng up South Africa and stealing evrything from the coffers.

  • CALAMITYSA - 2012-02-09 07:02

    The whole cabinet and all politicians are overpaid. And for their effort even more so!

      Craig - 2012-02-09 16:17

      YES - MP's should be on performance pay only...

      Cynthia - 2012-02-10 12:17

      If they were paid on performance only, there would be hardly any salaries paid out LOL!

  • anthro45 - 2012-02-09 07:08

    Is it maybe because she actually does more than most judges?

  • Wayne - 2012-02-09 07:19

    Definately a couple of question marks over her salary as well as her wanting to double that of her deputy. However, by all accounts she and her team have done a sterling job so far. Perhaps these MP's should instead be arguing for a performance based packaged for Thuli and co..........based on how much Government corruption she exposes and how many "not so civil" servants she exposes. But then again, that would mean many MP's voting for her to cast a beady eye over their own activities, so i guess that's not ging to happen any time soon.

  • peterjohnjnb - 2012-02-09 07:27

    As far as fI'm concerned, she should be paid TEN times more!!

  • hwagner1960 - 2012-02-09 07:31

    Yes Thuli, they will throw everything at you for as long as you don't dance their tune. Hang in there girl!

  • Kuno - 2012-02-09 07:42

    what??? Anybody ever thought about cutting back the provincial premiers salaries? Mandosela is at least doing a good job not like the useless premiers. But let the cancer protect each other...

  • claude.oosthuizen - 2012-02-09 07:47

    Forget salary, what about these overfed, underworked fatkats who aprticpate in goverment tenders, get fired and the money remains - AT LARGE ( pun intended). Why are they not proecuted? Fired and retired.........the new ANC wealthbuilding course for MP's............~@#$~@#$~#$~@#$

  • LN - 2012-02-09 07:49

    If she gets them prosecuted. I'll pay her 2bar a year.

  • Keelvol - 2012-02-09 07:57


  • piet.oliemans - 2012-02-09 08:08

    Bloody idiots! At the very least, she's doing a job that is absolutely brilliant. Typical politician....can't stick to what needs to be discussed. Pay the woman double what she's earning, pay her deputy what she's worth too - they are WORTH it!

      Cynthia - 2012-02-10 12:22

      Don't worry, I am sure they are as busy as beavers trying to find a way to get her out - otherwise I am sure her contract (if that is what she has) definitely won't be renewed! Damn shame. Does so much more than our President.

  • Lumko Ntshinka - 2012-02-09 08:10

    Yeah right, as if we dont already know why these pathetic excuse 4 mp's are doing everything in their power to drag her honourable name through the mud

  • Ali - 2012-02-09 08:31

    At least she is only costing a salary for doing a good job, not a salary + millions through corrupt tenders and for doing nothing. So she's actually a he'll of a bargain. Give a commission also.... She will save the country millions more.

  • Chris - 2012-02-09 08:37

    She does more work than all of them combined - she deserves every cent - maybe they should look at cutting their own salaries first

  • Jason - 2012-02-09 08:39

    Pay what ever she wants as long as she carry's on doing a great job.. The billions waist by government officials over paying someone who is doing a good job and pin pointing those who are corrupt and overspending its easily covering what ever she is been paid.

  • Ryan - 2012-02-09 08:49

    Most ANC government officials earn way more than they are worth. Starting right at the TOP down!

  • Jonathan - 2012-02-09 08:52

    That is a lot of money. I say cap her earnings and let she keep it. She deserves every cent as long as she continues on this fearless path of exposing the corruption in this government.

  • Philile - 2012-02-09 08:56

    I'm in the dark here, why are they being paid that much. What really are They doing, even the president doesn't deserve that much. That's why they're celebrities/socialites. They throw very expensive parties hiring international artists to entertain the guests at their birthday parties or whatever parties.

      Cynthia - 2012-02-10 12:25

      Miss Thuli Madonsela is bring corruption to the fore, heloooooo!

  • Karen - 2012-02-09 09:19

    With her qualifications and abilities she will be much better paid in the private sector - hands off her, let's rather be grateful that she is willing (hopefully) to continue as PP.

  • braamc - 2012-02-09 10:40

    She deserves every cent she is earning, unlike the ANC government thieves, that shouldn't be earning a salary and stealing the tax payers money over and above.

  • Jacqui - 2012-02-09 10:40

    Madonsela isn't playing ball with the ANC, like the spoilt children they are they now want her money. Poor fools.

  • Farai - 2012-02-09 11:21

    @ANC...he without sin shall throw the first stone!

  • Perfume5 - 2012-02-09 11:52

    The MP's get paid way too much for doing NOTHING. Ms Madonsela is doing a great job and is paid far too less for what she does, I wonder who they are wanting to put in her position, seems like there is a plot to OUST her. Ms Madonsela HAS BALLS OF STEEL!!

  • Dennis - 2012-02-09 14:47

    Sounds like the pot calling the kettle a darker shade of grey !!