Public Protector receives the Johannesburg Press Club Newsmaker of the Year Award
Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela today received the Johannesburg Press Club Newsmaker of the Year Award for 2012 at a function held at the Wits Business School. In her acceptance speech, the Public Protector said she was humbled and honoured for sharing the nomination with one of the icons of South Africa Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
“What I find humbling about the award is that Johannesburg Press Club says it doesn’t just consider the amount of news generated by the office but also the quality of the news. We only do our job the best way we can and whether we make news or not, it is the decision of your community, the media”, she said.
The event was attended by Prof Wendy Ngoma, the Director of the Wits Business School, Mr. Mixael de Kock, Chairperson of the Johannesburg Press Club, Prof Kalu Ojah, the Deputy Head of the Wits Business School, Ms Amina Frense, Deputy Chairperson of the Johannesburg Press Club and the members of the media and public.
Public Protector reiterated the value of the media and the academic community as stakeholders in the work of her office as they contribute to the endeavours to ensure the office’s services are accessible to all persons and communities, especially because it is in compliance with section 182(4) of the Constitution.
During her public lecture titled “Active Citizens are Key to Good Governance” she reflected on the role of citizens in promoting good governance in state affairs. She emphasised on how citizens often fail to act just because they do not want people they do not like or approve of to benefit by referring to the “The Cold Within” parable. It is a story about six people bound by fate because of their differences. They were sitting around a fire that was slowly dying down on a bitterly cold dark night. Light and warmth were essential to get them through that cold dark night but they all died because they only focussed on the things that separated them.
She appealed to South Africans to be responsible citizens and co-architects of their own destiny and democracy by following the examples of organisations like Corruption Watch, Business Unity South Africa and NPO’s like Ndifuna Ukwazi and the Right To Know Campaign who stand against corruption. She said these organisations are doing more than just pointing fingers regarding their concerns on crime and corruption but also mobilise citizens to take responsibility for being part of the solution. “Citizens and others need to work with the many institutions that work hard to stem maladministration within the state in its different form. It is said that each set of citizens gets the government it deserves. If we want an accountable government that acts with integrity and the best interests of its entire people, we need to up our input towards the pursuit of good governance and ultimately a strong constitutional democracy,” she said
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