Public Protector welcomes the Portfolio Committee’s support pledge
Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela has welcomed a pledge by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development to support her office to ensure that it delivers fully on its constitutional mandate.
The Public Protector met the Committee today to bring it up to speed regarding progress made in terms of the implementation of the strategic plan approved by Parliament earlier this year.
“I am encouraged by the reaction and insights we got from the Committee. I am also happy that the Committee feels that I should use all my powers to subpoena and issue contempt orders in cases of lack of cooperation and non-compliance,” she said.
This came after the Public Protector highlighted to the Committee the challenge of lack of cooperation with investigations and poor compliance with her recommendations by some government departments.
She again brought to the attention of the committee the ripple effect inadequate resources continue to have on the ability of her office to live up to its constitutional mandate. This includes being accessible to all persons and communities and having enough investigative staff to conduct thorough investigations while providing prompt remedial action.
Responding to the Public Protector, Chairperson Ngoako Ramatlhodi committed the Committee to support the Public Protector, particularly on the issues of securing adequate funds and fully utilising her constitutional and legislative powers, to ensure that the Office is effective.
“We have begun to review the budget ... we are considering breaking the budget of the Public Protector away from the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development,” Ramatlhodi said.
He added that the Committee was also happy that the Public Protector is consulting thoroughly on the rules to ensure that all role players, particularly the state, know what is expected of them and the punitive measures for non-compliance and lack of cooperation.
The Committee also highlighted the need for more frequent meetings with the Public Protector for purposes of stepping in to intervene in cases where departments are not cooperative.