Public Protector to name and shame organs of state that defy her remedial action directives
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa empowers Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate, report on and remedy any alleged or suspected improper or prejudicial conduct in state affairs, or in the public administration, in any sphere of government.
These powers have been unequivocally interpreted and affirmed by no less than the highest court in the land, the Constitutional Court, in the Economic Freedom Fighters and others v Speaker of the National Assembly and others case. In particular, the court clarified that the Public Protector’s remedial action is binding unless it is challenged in and set aside by a court of law.
Regrettably, Adv. Mkhwebane continues to contend with dozens of cases, where she has taken appropriate remedial action as empowered by the Constitution and yet the implicated organs of state – well aware of the Constitutional Court judgement referred to above – neither implement her directives nor take her on judicial review and seek a court order suspending implementation.
With more than 50 such cases, the problem has reached unacceptable levels. It is for this reason that Adv. Mkhwebane is calling a media briefing, where she will name and shame the culprits.
“The thousands of people who turn up at our door step do so as a last resort, having tried their best to find justice on their own. Worse, these are mostly people who would never take the state to court due to the prohibitive financial costs involved,” explained Adv. Mkhwebane.
“They come to us knowing that we provide a free service and that we make binding decisions. When we do make findings in their favour, provide for remedies that seek to take them as close as possible to where they would have been had it not been for the improper conduct of the part of the state and nothing happens, they lose confidence in the system. This is something that our constitutional democracy cannot afford.”
The media briefing will be held as follows:
Date: Thursday, February 28, 2019
Venue: Public Protector House, Hillcrest Office Park, Hillcrest, Pretoria
Journalists are requested to confirm attendance with Mr. Salvation Mokgatlhe on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0123667153.