Public protector : fearless defender of ethical conduct, a seven-year campaign

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    An article entitled ‘The role of the Public Protector: case studies in public accountability’ was published by the author in the African Journal of Public Affairs, 4(2), September 2011. That article focused on some cases that illustrate the nature and extent of the role the Public Protector in identifying and making findings on significant cases of corrupt practices and maladministration. The current Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, is now at the end of her seven-year non-renewable appointment. It is apposite to review her contribution to promoting ethical conduct and enforcing public accountability. A single article cannot do justice to all 150 reports produced during her term of office to prove the value of the Public Protector in the South African public sector. Instead, the article presents a desktop analysis of selected reports by the Public Protector, on cases involving the national, provincial and local spheres of government. The legislation relevant to the cases is discussed, in addition to the handling of the reports by the government and Parliament and the Constitutional Court’s ruling on the incumbent’s powers. The Nkandla case, also called Secure in comfort, epitomises the careful research, deliberation, findings and constitutional status of the Public Protector in the South African system of democratic government.