Public Protector and Military Ombud pledge to work together

Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela and the newly-appointed Military Ombud, Lieutenant-General Themba Mathanzima, have vowed to do everything possible to make their offices effective and efficient.
This follows the two’s meeting at the Public Protector Head Office in Pretoria on Monday (23 June 2012), where possible cooperation on the two institutions’ respective duties were explored.
“We discussed a range of issues around the sharing of information and good practices, and referral of cases. A draft Memorandum of Understanding is in place. We will sign it as soon as we have agreed on terms,” the Public Protector said.
During the meeting, the Public Protector also briefed Lieutenant-General Mathanzima on all the complaints against the Department of Defence and Military Veterans currently before her. She pledged to continue assisting him with operations to set-up his office.
The idea to establish a Military Ombud was partly triggered by the Public Protector after seeing the plight of soldiers, particularly the retired ones and military veterans, who often take their grievances to her office.
Prior to the establishment of the Ombud, which was launched last month, the Public Protector was given an opportunity to contribute to the draft legislation that regulates the Ombud’s activities.
Many of the contributions, including a recommendation that the Ombud be appointed by the President, that the Ombud’s rank be equivalent to that of a Judge and the need for the office to be financed directly, were implemented.
Issued by:
Kgalalelo Masibi 
Spokesperson for the Public Protector
Tel: (012) 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399
Published Date: 
Monday, June 18, 2012