Public Protector holds fruitful discussions with the Ugandan Members of Parliament (Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee) delegation
The Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela hosted a Ugandan Members of Parliament delegation in Pretoria today. The Ugandan delegation was led by Hon Stephen Tashobya, Chairperson of the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee to which the Ugandan Ombudsman reports and included the Law Reform Commission and a Member of Parliament who has initiated a Private Members’ Bill on the amendment of the Anti-Corruption Bill.
The purpose of the visit was to benchmark with the Public Protector South Africa, to assist in the revising of the Ugandan Anti-Corruption Bill and to understand the place of the Public Protector South Africa with regard to national institutions for combating corruption.
The Public Protector’s presentation focused on the complementary oversight, architecture of the South African anticorruption framework, touching on laws and the roles of the Public Protector and the other institutions including Parliament.
Most of the questions of the Ugandan delegation focused on how the South African institutional framework provides avenues for civil recovery of proceeds of corruption. In this regard, the Public Protector elaborated on her role regarding the taking of remedial action in pursuit of the power given by section 182(1) (c) of the Constitution. She also gave an overview of the role of complementary institutions such as the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the Hawks.
During the presentation, Hon S Tashobya said that the Ugandan Inspector General (Ombudsman) who is an equivalent of the Public Protector in South Africa, has investigative and prosecutorial powers in terms of the law, and has handled several prosecutions successfully.
Hon Tashobya further indicated that the Ugandan Parliament has no power to review the Inspector General’s recommendations, but focusses on enforcing them. He said the Ombudsman, as an officer of Parliament, is invited to Parliament together with the affected parties in the report, when the Ombudsman’s report is discussed.
Public Protector Madonsela thanked the delegation for an opportunity created to share experiences and mutual lessons learnt from both countries on the work of the Ombudsman and combatting corruption. In conclusion, the Public Protector referred the delegation to the OR Tambo Declaration on Minimum Standards for African Ombudsman adopted in February 2014 through the facilitation of African Ombudsman and Mediator’s Association. The Ugandan delegation expressed an interest in it and was given a copy.