Public Protector to host AOMA General Assembly in Durban

Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane, in her capacity as Chairperson of the African Ombudsman Research Centre (AORC), will host the 5th Biennial General Assembly of the African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA) in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal from 1 to 4 November 2016.

The AORC is the training and research resource of AOMA, a 39-member continental body of Public Protector-like institutions. Launched in March 2011 by President Jacob Zuma, the AORC is based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Howard College Campus within the School of Law.

AOMA was established 14 years ago to advance the ideals of good governance and human rights in Africa by supporting and protecting the independence and development of African Ombudsman institutions in the continent. Its General Assembly is the association’s highest decision-making structure. Two of the last Public Protectors of South Africa served as its Executive Secretaries for a combined period of eight years.

The association has in recent years signed a bilateral cooperation with the African Union (AU) - an agreement that saw the organisation assuming the observer status within the AU.

In terms of the pact, the two organisations agreed to cooperation in promoting the strategic priorities of the African Union Commission in the realm of democracy and good governance, including the promotion and protection of human rights, transparency and administrative justice, observations of elections in Africa, peace and security.

Responding to the challenges facing Ombudsman institutions in the continent, AOMA adopted the OR Tambo Minimum Standards for Effective Ombudsman Institutions and Cooperation declaration in 2014. The declaration details ten minimum standards that African states ought to comply with when establishing Ombudsman institutions in the continent.

These include the establishment of such institutions that are preferably guaranteed in the Constitutions of the individual states in order to ensure the key feature of independence. Indicia of independence includes the security of tenure for heads of such institutions such as a fixed term that is not subject to removal from office without a just cause and the appointment processes that are transparent and executed through a competitive process in the legislature.

While the General Assembly will be closed to the public, journalists are invited to the Welcome and Gala Dinner events that will take place on the first and last days of the week’s programme.

Adv. Mkhwebane will address both events. Other speakers are

  • AOMA President Her Excellency, Chief Ombudsman of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Dr. Fozia Amin;
  • AOMA Executive Secretary His Excellency, Chief Commissioner: Commission on Administrative Justice in Kenya, Dr Otiende Amollo;
  • Chairperson of the Human Rights and Good Governance Commission of Tanzania, Hon. Tom Bahame Nyanduga;
  • Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Prof. John Mubangizi; and
  • Dean of Law at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Prof. Managay Reddi.

The General Assembly brings under one roof some 37 Ombudsman and Mediators from across the continent to explore challenges faced by such institutions in their respective countries.

It is held under the theme “The Ombudsman at 50: Reflecting on the Experiences of Africa’s First Ombuds Institution” and is also part of the association’s celebration of 50th anniversary since the first Ombudsman institution (of Tanzania) was established in the continent.

The Welcome Dinner will take place as follows:

Venue: Garden Court Marine Parade Hotel, Durban, South Africa
Date: Tuesday, October 01, 2016
Time: 19H30

The Gala Dinner will take place as follows:

Venue: Garden Court Marine Parade Hotel, Durban, South Africa
Date: Friday, October 04, 2016
Time: 19H30

Members of the media can confirm attendance with Mr Salvation Mokgatlhe by email at Journalists are advised to indicate their interest in either of the events as early as possible as seats are limited..

For more information, contact:

Oupa Segalwe
Senior Manager: Communications
Public Protector South Africa
Cell: 072 264 3273

Public Protector South Africa

Published Date: 
Friday, October 28, 2016