Public Protector calls on communities to be builders of democracy
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela has called on the residents of Bethlehem and the country to speak out when their rights are being violated- thereby building democracy.
She said this during the commemoration of Human Rights Day in Bohlokong Township in Free State.
The event was celebrated under the theme “Public Protector Working for Human Based Society.”
The Public Protector said South Africa is a constitutional democracy which gives citizens various channels through which they can engage with government.
These channels included the Public Protector, Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Rights of Cultural Religious and Linguistic Communities, Human Rights Commission and Auditor-General among others.
She urged the community to use these channels to demand answers and hold those entrusted with public power and public resources accountable.
The Public Protector emphasised that the Freedom Charter meant the people shall empower themselves with information about their rights, responsibilities and knowledge of how government works and demand accountability when it said “The People Shall Govern.”
She condemned the attacks on foreign nationals and destroying of infrastructure saying that it does not build democracy and is not in the spirit of Human Rights and the Constitution.
The Public Protector called on the people to focus on systems and not on personalities in order work with her office, other Chapter 9 Institutions to strengthen democracy to ensure that it delivers on the rights promised by the Constitution.
She said these rights include the socio-economic rights such as rights to access to health care, education, decent housing and freedom to pursue economic activities. Underpinning these rights is freedom from poverty including hunger and other dignities that go with poverty.
The Public Protector received among other complaints relating to allegations of maladministration involving conduct failure from government and abuse of power by its officials.
Other complaints related to undue delays upon procession of IDs, social grants, RDP houses, workers compensation, extended public works programme and other government contract opportunities.
Spokesperson for Public Protector
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012