Public Protector commences public consultations on rules

Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela will soon publish in the Government Gazette rules aimed at expediting the resolution of complaints and ensuring compliance by organs of state guilty of failing the public.

In terms of section 7 (11) of the Public Protector Act 23 of 1994 (PPA), the Public Protector may make rules in respect of matters that have a bearing on investigations provided that such rules are be published in the Government Gazette for public comments and tabled in the National Assembly.

The rules seek to standardise matters such as timelines, subpoenas, search and seizures, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and contempt orders, among other things.

This week, the Public Protector held a roundtable attended by, among others, representative of the academia, judiciary, legal professional bodies, lawyers, ombudsman institutions, government and other state institutions to interrogate and make inputs on the draft rules before they are published.

Addressing the roundtable, the Public Protector said once the rules were in force, state organs would be fully aware of what is expected of them in terms of cooperating and complying with investigations and recommendations respectively. They would also be aware of punitive measures regarding failure to cooperate with investigations.

“Failure by the state to cooperate and comply impacts on our ability to deliver on our promise to provide prompt remedial action to complainants. As a result complainants will end up suffering secondary prejudice. This may also dent our credibility in the eyes of the public,” she said.

It is expected that the rules will be published in the Gazette within the next few weeks and later tabled in Parliament.

Published Date: 
Wednesday, September 1, 2010