Public Protector explains her office's involvement in the SABC v DA and others case

The office of the Public Protector must be defended when its powers are undermined or whittled down, Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela said on Friday.

The Public Protector is at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein where the court continues to hear arguments in the case between the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA), and others.

She is one of the respondents on the aspects of the case that relate to the constitutional powers of her office.

The DA took the national broadcaster to court in an effort to force it to comply with the remedial action of the Public Protector following an investigation into allegations of maladministration, systemic corporate deficiencies, abuse of power and the irregular appointment of Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng by the SABC detailed in a report titled “When Governance and Ethics Fail.”

Speaking on the sidelines of proceedings, the Public Protector said the vision of the architects of the country's democracy in establishing her office and empowering it to investigate alleged improper conduct, report of that conduct and take appropriate remedial action also needed to be defended.

"For us the key part is the powers of the [office]," the Public Protector said. "Again I must separate the office from me as a person because I am only going to be Public Protector for the next twelve months."

The Public Protector said the office, which turns 20 years this year, was an anchor of democracy and would remain so for many years to come.

She added that the office was created in order for "Gogo Dlaminis" and other ordinary people to exact accountability on those exercising public power and control over public resources.

If the office had no remedial powers, the Public Protector explained, it would be of no use to the "Gogo Dlaminis".

For more information contact:

Ms Kgalalelo Masibi
Spokesperson: Public Protector South Africa
Tel: 012 366 7006
Cell: 079 507 0399

Published Date: 
Friday, September 18, 2015