Profile 1: Thulisile Madonsela—South African Public Protector
In 2009, newly elected President Jacob Zuma appointed Thulisile Madonsela as the third Public Protector of South Africa. She had been recommended by Parliament and received full support from all parties when her appointment came to vote.
During her tenure she has been praised for her efficiency and professionalism and for exhibiting qualities of integrity and commitment to public service, as reflected in the number of cases her office has taken on and the number of investigative reports issued covering all levels of government, including the presidency. And it is for this work that she has come under fierce fire, including threats of arrest, anonymous allegations, and personal attacks.
In an article written for The Sunday Independent
in 2014, Madonsela wrote
Regardless of where we are, we need to guard jealously our treasured constitution, which is a road map to who we wanted to become when we embarked on this road in 1994. This we can do by playing our part honestly and diligently in taking a stand against bad governance and maladministration, thus ensuring an accountable state that acts with integrity while ensuring there is responsiveness to the needs of all our people.
Madonsela is also a strong advocate for women, having authored and coauthored numerous publications on gender management and gender mainstreaming. In addition, she is a member of the South African Women’s Lawyer Association and Business Women’s Association of South Africa. In 2012, she received South Africa’s most Influential Women Award and, in 2014, she was identified as one of Time magazine’s top 100 influential people in the world.
She was also one of the drafters of South Africa’s constitution in 1994.
Thulisile Madonsela, The Sunday Independent, “Why I Value My Role as Public Protector,” April 27, 2014, http://www.iol.co.za/sundayindependent/why-i-value-my-role-as-public-protector-1680954#.U1-dKlWSznh, accessed June 8, 2016.