Public Protector supports civil society initiative to fight corruption
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela has pledged support for new graft watchdog, Corruption Watch - an initiative of trade union federation COSATU launched on Thursday in Johannesburg.
Speaking at launch, where Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi also spoke, the Public Protector said the step taken by the labour movement was something to be commended.
“Many other sectors of our society can learn a lot from this development because, as a country, we need a united front if we are to triumph over corruption,” she told guests including Corruption Watch board members, government representatives, trade unionists, political analysts and the media.
“It’s about time all of us stand together to fight this monster called corruption with the same courage and resilience demonstrated when we battled against and defeated apartheid and social exclusion.”
The Public Protector also pointed out that corruption had continued to pose a threat to the guarantees made in the Constitution. These, she said, included basic necessities such health care, food, water, housing, social security and human dignity.
“The poor suffer more than all of us yet when those that have robbed the poor are called to account; they call upon the very victims of their crimes to defend them,” she added.
The Public Protector said, however, that the picture was not all gloomy as forces for good governance were far more superior to those fostering corruption and maladministration. She said corruption in South Africa had not reached the proportions it had in many other countries.
South Africa has good legal framework and oversight agencies to deal effectively with the scourge, she said. These included the Constitution and pieces of legislation such as the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and the Protected Disclosures Act, among others.
Corruption Watch will make use of communication tools such as its website, social networking sites and an SMS hotline to receive reports of corruption. The watchdog will also post a pledge on its website for people to sign thereby rejecting corruption.
Thursday, January 26, 2012