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Madonsela to approach Parliament over Public Protector Act

Advocate Thuli Madonsela says the Public Protector Act must be changed speedily.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: AFP.

PRETORIA - Advocate Thuli Madonsela says her office will now approach Parliament to initiate an amendment of the Public Protector Act to address weakness identified by the Constitutional Court's judgment in the Nkandla matter.

Madonsela yesterday welcomed the ruling, saying it has reaffirmed the authority of her office and that her remedial action is binding.

The Constitutional Court found that President Jacob Zuma failed to uphold the Constitution, failed to assist or protect the Public Protector and should have complied with her remedial action.

WATCH: ConCourt ruling on Nkandla debacle

Madonsela says the Public Protector Act must be changed speedily, noting that it doesn't even refer to remedial action.

"We'll be approaching Parliament and the executive with a letter at the beginning of April requesting a low reform process to review the Public Protector Act."

Madonsela says she also wants a conversation with Parliament on proper conduct in State affairs.

"The debate became about 'what are the powers of the Public Protector?' We don't think that was the real dispute, the real dispute was about what is proper and what is improper in terms of use of public power and public business."

She says these issues have been included in their annual strategic plan.

WATCH: ConCourt judgement a victory for SA

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said the National Assembly should have held Zuma accountable, or challenged the Public Protector's findings in court.

The Chief Justice said the president should have decided whether or not to comply with the Public Protector's remedial action.

Instead, Zuma relied on investigations which exonerated him.

Mogoeng says this was destructive and the only way he could have challenged the Public Protector's findings was to go to court.

"He did not challenge the report through a judicial process. He appeared to have been content with the apparent vindication of this position by the ministers' favourable recommendations and considered himself to have been lawfully absolved."

He went on to say neither the president, nor the National Assembly, is allowed to ignore the Public Protector's remedial action unless it is set aside by a judge.

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