Farewell to anti-corruption bastion Thuli Madonsela – Glynnis Breytenbach

DA says only time will tell whether the new PP will also place the Constitution and the people of SA first

DA bids farewell to anti-corruption bastion in Adv Thuli Madonsela

14 October 2016

Today marks the penultimate day in office of the current Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela. It promises to be a busy, productive and somewhat controversial day. She, and her team, will have to deal with court action this morning, attempting to disrupt the business of her office. In the afternoon she has scheduled a press conference to release the various reports on which she has been working. This punishing schedule - that she has handled with dignity, grace and diligence - is typical of what her tenure has become with the mounting cases of government corruption of Jacob Zuma. 

Adv Madonsela has served the nation with distinction in her unwavering commitment to fighting corruption in all of government’s holdings and in so doing has made immeasurable contributions to the development of our Constitution in spite of functionaries who have denigrated it at every juncture to service narrow political agendas.

That she is, this morning, party to court action brought by President Zuma’s lacky in CoGTA Minister, Des van Rooyen, is in itself testament to how she boldly spoke truth to power despite pressures to thwart the functioning of her office.

Adv Madonsela will, of course, be defined by the Nkandla report – Secure in Comfort -  and the tenacity that she and her team displayed in the face of great adversity. The position of the office was vindicated by the Constitutional Court and resulted in an important Constitutional victory for the country and its citizens.

When today is over, and she has vacated the office she has occupied for the last seven years, the success of her tenure will be judged by the work she has done, the reports she and her team have produced and how she has withstood the rigours of the job. On the whole, it should be clear that she will be judged kindly. She has grown in the job and will leave it stronger and wiser. She will leave at the Office of the Public Protector a team that has become a cohesive, well-functioning whole. That alone must indicate that her term of office has been successful.

She has left a formidable legacy for her successor to emulate. Time will tell whether the incoming Public Protector will continue in the same vein, and place the Constitution, the people of South Africa and the Rule of Law at the forefront of the work of that office. It is clear that Adv Madonsela has left her the tools to continue doing groundbreaking work if she so chooses.

As for Adv Madonsela, we wish her well and great success in her future endeavours, and thank her for her contribution to developing one of the most important Chapter 9 Institutions.

Issued by Glynnis Breytenbach, DA Shadow Minister of Justice, 14 October 2016