Public Protector and ombudsman like institutions can strengthen the rights based framework says Adv. Malunga
Public Protector and other ombudsman like institutions can strengthen the rights based framework within which public policies are developed and implemented, Deputy Public Protector Adv. Kevin Malunga said at the weekend.
He was addressing the NAC Women’s Day event held in Tongaat, Durban on the issues relating to women abuse.
The Deputy Public Protector said these institutions supported the administration of justice and how the enforcement agencies, particularly the police could strengthen adherence to the rule of law and ensure access to justice for gender-based violence victims.
He said his office was an accountability mechanism which allowed redress for both individual experiences of injustice and the addressing of systemic systems and structures to ensure more equitable access to state actions and resources.
“We can pursue,” Adv. Malunga said, “matters where it appears there are underlying patterns and commons causes for maladministration.”
The Deputy Public Protector added such broad and systemic approach to investigations could serve as a resource for governmental institutions in identifying and preventing recurring unfairness, inaction and limited state responsiveness to the legitimate expectations of the citizens.
He warned figures by the department of justice and correctional services proved that many people annually turned to courts for protection orders and not all were granted the relief they sought.
This Adv. Malunga said, was due to among other ill-equipped court officials to deal with matters related to domestic violence, magistrates and courts not available to persons wanting to apply for protection order after-hours and undue delays in court processes.
Adv. Malunga also labelled non-compliance with the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act by the police as one of the contributing factors. These included among others the behaviour of police officials dealing with victims reported as demeaning and discriminatory, the safety of persons who had obtained the protection order compromised by police officials’ unwillingness to arrest the perpetrators who violated the protection order and insufficient training of officials to deal with victims of domestic violence.
He told the attendants that his office was available to listen to complaints relating to sexual offence and gender-based violence.
Adv. Malunga said his office’s remedial action helped government in the administration of justice on how to change its policies or laws to better suit the needs and concerns of the victims.
In 2012 an own initiative investigation by the Public Protector helped a rape victim whose case was postponed over 40 times by the court.
For more information, contact:
Spokesperson for the Public Protector
Public Protector South Africa
(012) 366 7069
079 507 0399