Statement on media reports following SCOPA hearing

Public Protector Adv Thuli Madonsela has noted weekend media reports following the appearance of her office before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) in Parliament last Friday in connection with the office’s Annual Report of 2008/2009.

The Public Protector regrets the insinuation that the appearance before SCOPA and issues raised relate to the current state of affairs in her office. She would like to place on record that the SCOPA hearing and issues raised relate to a period ending March 2009, which was long before her appointment.

The concerns include failure to manage the R10 million European Union fund by three Chapter Nine institutions namely the Public Protector, SA Human Rights Commission and the Commission on Gender Equality.

The Public Protector wishes to state that the institution has been working closely with the Auditor General (AG) to address matters raised by the AG in the said Annual Report and that the AG has expressed satisfaction with the plan and its execution.

Among other measures taken to address these concerns, assets were counted and verified. In addition, the conditions of the assets were assessed and the useful life of the assets was reviewed.

Furthermore, assets were re-classified according to finance and operating leases and their depreciation was calculated accordingly.

Interaction with the Department of Public Works resulted in quantifying the debt owed to it and a process is underway to pay.

As a public sector watchdog institution, the Public Protector remains committed to promoting a culture of accountability and integrity in state affairs and as such strongly believe in leading by example.

Published Date: 
Thursday, May 27, 2010