Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela has complained that attorneys advising organs of state against implementing her remedial action have become “superimposed as review panels” of her decisions.
She was speaking at a meeting with stakeholders, which included provincial government leaders, local government authorities and civil society in Polokwane on Wednesday.
Addressing delegates, the Public Protector said her office was only subject to the constitution and the law, emphasising that state legal advisors had no authority to tell government not to implement.
She said courts were therefore the only institutions that had a final say on whether her findings and remedial action are rational or not. “In the event organs of state are unhappy with our findings and the accompanying remedial action, they should take us to court on review,” the Public Protector said.
Delegates including Agriculture MEC Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba and Polokwane Executive Mayor Freddy Greaver concurred that failure to implement the Public Protector’s remedial action was defeating the institution’s purpose of supporting and strengthening constitutional democracy.
They added that leaders in government had a responsibility to act promptly upon receipt of the Public Protector’s report with a view to ensure administrative justice and accountability.
The meeting formed part of a nationwide roadshow dubbed “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 service failure and ensuring accountability in the exercise of state power and control over public resources.