FIRST ON EWN: All is not lost after Nkandla scandal - Madonsela

Thuli Madonsela says that the president's payment is part of correcting the wrong that was done.

FILE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has told Eyewitness News she believes President Jacob Zuma has now addressed the Nkandla scandal by paying back the money for non-security upgrades to his KwaZulu-Natal estate.

Madonsela spoke on the sidelines of the "Truth Be Told" Conference held at the Rhema Bible Church in Johannesburg.

Her office found Zuma and his family benefitted unduly from the extravagant upgrades.

Mandonsela says while the Nkandla saga has caused damage to the president and the country's reputation, not all hope should be lost.

"I don't think it was irreparable damage. I think the president paying a portion of the money has been part of that healing process and part of correcting the wrong."

Madonsela says that moving forward, government needs to work on the ethics of public servants.

"For government to have conversations with itself about ethics and what are ethics and what conduct is ethical and what conduct is unethical."

The outgoing Public Protector avoided being drawn into questions around allegations lodged against her prospective successor and the actions of some political parties.

Madonsela says one of the things that they have been able to achieve is to highlight the role of the executive.

"To deal with public power and resources in a manner that doesn't put self-interest ahead of national interest."

The outgoing public protector says she does not want her successor to mirror her traits.

"An institution has to grow, that person has to see differently from me but building on the legacy that I have left."

One of her wishes for the public protector's office is to get extra resources to assist more "Gogo Dlaminis" who have no voice or place to go.