Public Protector dialogues with Mpumalanga stakeholders
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela on Tuesday assured government leaders and civil society in Mpumalanga that her decisions to launch investigations into the conduct of state affairs and her findings were informed only by the constitution, law prescripts and facts.
Kicking off her two-day tour of the province as part of the nationwide stakeholder consultative forum in Nelspruit, the Public Protector explained that her office did not just choose to target certain people.
“We do not sit somewhere and decide that we are going to investigate this and that person. While we are empowered to initiate investigations, most of the time we receive complaints from the public. In terms of the constitution and the law, I am obliged to investigate,” she said.
Explaining the investigation methodology, the Public Protector said the approach was to look at what happened, what should have happened and whether there were discrepancies between the two.
In the event of a discrepancy, the Public Protector said, it would have to be established if the inconsistency constituted maladministration, in which case a finding would be made. Where a finding of improper conduct or maladministration is made, remedial action is directed.
Regarding the publication of her findings, the Public Protector told delegates that the law regulating her activities made it clear that she was expected to publish findings unless there were compelling reasons against such action. With regard to disseminating reports, she explained that the law gave her a discretion to disseminate to whoever she deemed fit.
During proceedings, stakeholders raised several issues with the Public Protector. These included the confidentiality of investigations, accessibility of her office to remote communities, powers to enforce her remedial action, collaboration with other oversight agencies and service delivery challenges, among other things. She assured stakeholders that the matters they raised would receive attention.
The meeting formed part of a two-month nationwide stakeholder consultative process launched on 12 July under the theme “The Public Protector Dialogues with the Nation.”
Aimed at soliciting feedback regarding the work of the Public Protector and foster a common understanding of the institution’s mandate and role, the programme focuses on the importance of implementing the Public Protector’s remedial action.
This is for purposes of ensuring administrative justice by organs of state in respect of service failure and ensuring accountability in the exercise of state power and control over public resources.
The Public Protector will continue with were consultation drive in the province when she interacts with ordinary people at Kamhlushwa Community Hall, in Nkomazi Municipality, near Malelane on Wednesday, July 27, 2011 from 10H00.
For more information, contact:
Manager: Outreach, Education and Communications
Tel: (012) 366 7035
Cell: 072 264 3273