Minority parties support Public Protector

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pretoria - Minority parties have thrown their weight behind Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela, indicating that they were pleased with the way she has been discharging her constitutional mandate.

This emerged during her meeting on Thursday with Inkantha Freedom Party, Freedom Front, United Democratic Movement, Congress of the People, Pan Africanist Congress of Azania and Azanian People's Organisation.

The United Christian Democratic Party had confirmed attendance but was not present at the meeting held at the Public Protector's Cape Town office. The Public Protector had earlier in the day met with the Democratic Alliance.

At the meeting, the parties agreed that the Public Protector plays an important role in helping ordinary people access justice and that the implementation of remedial action was critical to the advancement of administrative justice.

The parties felt strongly that what was expected from the Public Protector should be informed by the constitutional mandate and the integrity of the institution.

They also raised concerns around the allocation of budget to the Public Protector. They felt that funding for the institution should come from a neutral source such as Parliament, rather than the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development as it is currently.

In this regard, they have undertaken to push for a review of relevant legislation to address the concern.
The parties also highlighted the need for increased funding for the Public Protector's Outreach, Education and Communications programme in order to boost the visibility and accessibility of the institution to communities.

The meeting formed part of a two-month nationwide stakeholder consultative forum launched last week under the theme "The Public Protector Dialogues with the Nation."

Aimed at soliciting feedback regarding the work of the Public Protector and foster a common understanding of the institution's mandate and role, the programme focuses on the importance of implementing the Public Protector's remedial action.

This is for purposes of ensuring administrative justice by organs of state in respect of the state's dealings with the public and promoting accountability within state affairs in cases of conduct failure.

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