Public Protector created to act as state ‘conscience’: Deputy Public Protector
Constitutional founders of the country’s constitution, had a unique foresight of an independent institution that would act as a conscience of the state when they created the Public Protector, Deputy Public Protector Adv. Kevin Malunga said at the weekend.
Delivering the Jack Penn lecture, at the annual Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon of South Africa (APRSSA) event at the Kruger National Park, Adv. Malunga said the office was established to serve not only as an anti-corruption agency but as a mediator between citizens and the state while also playing an advisory-role to the government where it goes wrong.
This, the Deputy Public Protector said, was crucial to ensuring that good governance was prioritized in all state affairs. An administration characterized by high level of good governance in its dealings was crucial to the achievement of the constitutional promises of an improved quality of life for all and freed potential for every person.
Adv. Malunga said the architects of the constitution created this institution not to embarrass government but to be a corrective body in cases of wrongdoing and decide on the appropriate remedial action to fix the problem.
The Deputy Public Protector was confident the office had done tremendously well in the past 7 years in bringing to the fore, among other things, issues of good governance, the rule of law and responsibilities and roles of various arms of state.
He listed as a success of the institution the fact it has created a general heightened awareness about the importance whistleblowing. Adv. Malunga told the delegates that his offices, along with the Auditor-General, were safe harbours for whistleblowers.
Commenting on the success of the Public Protector, Adv. Malunga said the institution had become an international leader and was recognized both on the African continent and other parts of the world.
This, the Deputy Public Protector said, has resulted in an increased interest in the unique model of the institution and has resulted in increased visitors who come in to benchmark on how the Public Protector carried out its mandate.
Adv. Malunga lauded the Public Protector team whom he said were behind the success of the office and continued go beyond the call of duty to ensure justice for Gogo Dlamini-the ordinary person.
Asked if inadequate funding was curtailing the office’s ability to deal with all cases, Adv. Malunga opined that the institution had done well in using the limited resources at its disposal to achieve its constitutional mandate.
He reflected on the Public Protector team he had to lead together with out-going Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela saying it always kept eyes on the ball with dedicated focus on the principles that guided the institution’s investigations.
Adv. Malunga assured the country that even though the head of the institution was changing, the team that had been behind the success of the institution remained and will ensure that it continues to deliver on the institution's mandate and that he wishes the new Public Protector success.
For more information, contact:
Public Protector South Africa
Cell: 079 507 0399