Public Protector dedicates latest international award to her team, South African colleagues, whistleblowers, people and government
Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela on Friday welcomed with a deep sense of humility her selection as the winner of Transparency International's Integrity Award for 2014.
Transparency International is a global movement, formed in 1993, with a mission to stop corruption and promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society.
Its Integrity Awards were created in 2000 to recognise the courage and determination of the many individuals and organisations fighting corruption around the world.
Public Protector Madonsela, who will be presented with the award at a ceremony in Berlin, Germany on Friday evening, said: "I accept the accolade with deep humility on behalf the Public Protector Team, fellow integrity institutions in South Africa, whistleblowers and the resilient people of South Africa, particularly the complainants, for their resolute stance and efforts against corruption and related maladies."
She also said she was convinced the award also recognizes the efforts of the government of South Africa in creating and respecting a formidable legal and institutional framework for preventing and combatting corruption and malfeasance.
Public Protector Madonsela further said the honour represented recognition of South Africa as a great country that has committed itself to achieving social justice for all through ensuring that the potential of all its people is freed and that their quality of life is improved.
She said there was recognition that to achieve social justice, the state must regulate fairly and justly, and where appropriate, provide basic services to the people, and that corruption is a virus that undermines all such efforts.
The accolade was further an assurance that democratic South Africa, as she turned 20, was a country still on track in terms of claiming its place as a global citizen committed to good governance and reeding itself of corruption and other maladies that undermine good governance, constitutional democracy and the rule of law, Public Protector Madonsela added.
She said the country has the necessary laws, institutions and will among its people and leaders to pursue good governance while shunning corruption, which, she reiterated, was a societal and global problem, rather than a government issue and that everyone needed to play their part in fighting it.
"It is an honour and privilege to be recognized as part of a nation that is committed to doing the right thing for all its people," Public Protector Madonsela said. "Nobody said it would be easy; our global icon, former President Nelson Mandela, warned that despite our benevolence, mistakes may be made, hence the importance of the legal and institutional framework that limits excesses in the exercise of public power and the vigilance of civil society organizations like Corruption Watch and the media in ensuring public accountability."
She thanked institutions such as Transparency International for taking an interest in domestic and global governance, saying that this recognizes that "as long as there is injustice somewhere, sustainable peace cannot be enjoyed anywhere."
According to Transparency International, about 127 nominations for this year’s award were submitted by the public and some of the body's 100 chapters around the world. The jury for the awards is a committee of 11 individuals from across the world, who have been active in the anti-corruption movement for many years.
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