The office of the Public Protector is not above the law of our democratic state
On Wednesday the Public Protector will be releasing the much awaited report of her investigations of the security upgrades at the official residence of our state President at his homestead of Nkandla. Her investigations have generated an enormous interest across the spectra of our society.
The investigations have again brought to the fore the most important question on the role of the office of the Public Protector into our public domain. It must however be made categorically clear that the office of the Public Protector, like any of the chapter nine institutions, is not above the law.
The Public Protector is appointed by the President of the Republic on the recommendation of the National Assembly in terms of the provisions of chapter nine of the constitution of 1996. Her powers, duties and scope of work is regulated by the provisions of the Public Protector Act.
Section 81 of our Constitution ensures that the Public Protector shall be subject to the constitution and the law of the country. The office must be impartial and therefore exercise its powers and functions without any favour, fear or prejudice.
The mandate of the office of the Public Protector is essentially about ensuring that we succeed in our common purpose to build on the unity and cohesion of our rainbow nation. Her task therefore is to ensure that there is transparency, accountability, integrity and general good governance in the management of public resources.