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Mon May 30 08:54:48 SAST 2016

Madonsela term ends this year, make sure she gets a good replacement: Corruption Watch

TMG Digital | 08 February, 2016 12:14
Thuli Madonsela. File photo.
Image by: Simphiwe Nkwali / Sunday Times.

A day before two court cases which could define her legacy start‚ Corruption Watch launched a campaign to ensure that Thuli Madonsela’s replacement as public protector upholds the office as a “cornerstone of South Africa’s democracy”.

The Constitutional Court will on Tuesday hear argument from the Economic Freedom Fighters and the Democratic Alliance in connection with Madonsela’s report on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

Corruption Watch pointed out on Monday that Madonsela – who it said “has earned widespread respect for her commitment to tackling corruption‚ and to holding government accountable…without fear or favour” - ends her term on October 19.

The watchdog’s Bua Mzansi is a “nationwide public awareness and participation campaign to highlight and monitor the appointment process and ensure that it is conducted in a transparent manner and is influenced by public opinion”.

Bua Mzansi is Sesotho for “speak up South Africa”.

“This campaign encourages the public to take an active part in nominating and voting for suitable candidates‚ creating avenues for vigorous public engagement and dialogue about the role of the public protector‚ while also exploring new ways of engaging and amplifying the public voice‚” Corruption Watch said.

“Bua Mzansi aims to ensure that every step of the appointment process takes place in the public spotlight to safeguard the independence and integrity of the Office of the Public Protector and that public voice is influential in making the appointment of the leader of an institution precisely charged with protecting and advancing the interests of the public.”

It also said there other “critical appointments due to be made during 2016”‚ including:

  • A new head of the South African Human Rights Commission will be appointed to take over from Lawrence Mushwana; and
  • Three very senior judges will leave the bench this year‚ namely Constitutional Court judge Johann van der Westhuizen‚ Supreme Court of Appeal president Lex Mpati and Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke.

“We hope that this campaign will generate a public debate on the most effective and democratic method of appointing the leaders of all Chapter 9 institutions and other key posts that require independence‚ for example judicial appointments and appointments to leading law enforcement and prosecutorial bodies‚” Corruption Watch said.

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