When political connections allow unqualified people to prosper, we should remember those who make SA better, writes Judith February.
The public protector must surely have a backbone of steel; her resilience in the face of political pressure is quite remarkable. This past week, she made the unusual move of issuing a subpoena for the Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, to appear before her.
Muthambi had refused the public protector’s “invitation” to discuss the matter in which Thuli Madonsela found that the SABC’s chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, was being allowed to operate above the law. Unbelievably, Muthambi endorsed the SABC board’s decision to confirm Motsoeneng’s appointment preferring to take legal advice rather than implement Madonsela’s recommendations.
This rightly irked Madonsela. The board or the minister have yet to deal with Madonsela’s report. It is clear that Motsoeneng has the support of everyone right to the very top and that ignoring the public protector’s findings is simply becoming a way of the government doing business.
The president has yet to respond to the Nkandla findings, we are told he will. The public protector therefore finds herself in an increasingly difficult space. The legitimacy of her office depends on whether those in power respect it and adhere to her recommendations.