Public Protector not enemy of government – Adv. Malunga

The office of the Public Protector was more of a friend of government rather than a foe as some in society tended to perceive the relationship between the two, Deputy Public Protector Adv. Kevin Malunga on Friday.

He was speaking in Mahikeng during the North West leg of the 2014 National Public Protector Stakeholder Dialogue. The event also served as his office's commemoration of Heritage Month.

The dialogue focusses on fostering a mutually beneficial working relationship between the Public Protector and the state in the fight against maladministration and corruption.

Deputy Public Protector Malunga told locals at Barolong-Boo-Ratshidi hall that it was important for organs of state to understand that the Public Protector was not an alternate government.

"In other words we are not here to govern on their behalf or usurp their roles," he explained. "We are just here to unblock the bottlenecks to ensure that anything that undermines government programmes and constitutional democracy is dealt with."

Deputy Public Protector Malunga emphasised that the Public Protector was empowered by the Constitution and the law to do its work.

He said both the Public Protector and the government wanted the same things, which included ensuring that the human rights enshrined in the Constitution bore fruit for the people through government programmes and that those who undermined South Africa's constitutional democracy through their actions face the full might of the law.

Deputy Public Protector Malunga added that his office's approach was that of whispering truth to power so that the state could make amends on administrative deficiencies that tended to undermine a genuine intent on the part of government to live up to the promise of an improved quality of life for all.

While the focus was on cooperation between his office and the state, Deputy Public Protector Malunga stressed that his message should not be interpreted as saying all of government was not cooperating with investigations.

Those that were not cooperating, he said, were just a drop in the ocean and hardly involved matters that were of great concern to ordinary people such as housing, social security and the provision of water.

For more information, contact:
Mr Oupa Segalwe
Manager: Outreach, Education and Communications
Public Protector South Africa
(012) 366 7035
072 264 3273

Published Date: 
Friday, September 26, 2014