The Public Protector


Economic Freedom Fighters v Speaker, National Assembly and Others

  • The Public Protector’s findings entitled “Secure in Comfort”in relation to unauthorised security  presented to Parliament in relation to the security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home conducted by the Department of Public Works’, whereby the Public Protector had found that the President and members of his family were enriched unduly thereby ordering the President to repay certain costs.
  • The Constitutional Court held that Parliament in conducting its own investigation absolving the President of any such liability was and ignorance of the Public Protector’s findings and was thus unconstitutional. The court noted, that the remedial action taken by the Public Protector is binding on the National Assembly.

South African Broadcasting Corporation SOC Ltd and Others v Democratic Alliance and Others

  • The case dealt with the findings by the Public Protector which found irregular conduct having occurred within the South African Broadcasting Corporation including the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng; his salary increase; the gross abuse of his powers to benefit himself together with fraudulently misrepresenting to the SABC that he had a metric qualification.
  • The Public Protector therefore directed that various remedial steps be taken but these were however ignored and instead the SABC permanently appointed Motsoeneng, stating they were justified as their attorneys investigations had exonerated Motsoeneng.
  • The SCA held that the High Court was correct in holding that disciplinary proceedings having to be instituted against Motsoeneng as their was a real risk of the integrity of these processes being undermined if he was not suspended. The SCA however held that the remedial actions recommended by Public Protector should not be ignored and that State Institutions are obliged to challenge these by review application if they do not agree with them instead of conducting their own investigation and adopting the view that that outcome trumps that of the Public Protector.The appeal was therefore dismissed.

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Image of Thuli Madonsela was obtained from Mail and Guardian