Tag Archives: Public Protector

David kicks Goliath in the Nkandla gonads

The Constitutional Court judgment on Nkandla and the powers of the public protector has been hanging above the heads of President Jacob Zuma and the African National Congress government like an unexploded bomb. That it was delivered on Thursday, a mere six weeks after counsel for both side delivered their summations, was a sign that…

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It’s not about capture but control

Catchphrases quickly move from being nifty idioms that ignite thought to clichés that stifle it. Such is the likely fate of “state capture”, a phrase that features in virtually every media account of President Jacob Zuma’s controversial relationship with the Gupta family. But what has been happening in the past weeks is not about state…

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Public Protector in the courts – what does it mean for me?

By Tess Peacock This week in the news Thuli Madonsela, our Public Protector, is going to court on the Nkandla matter. Why? This is about power, power and power. The Constitution divides government into three components: the executive (the president and his ministers), the judiciary (all the courts) and the legislature (our representatives in Parliament)….

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10 signs that SA democracy is toast

In case you’ve missed it in the midst of media frenzies about puppets in court, murder trials dismissed, or beauty competitions won, South Africa’s democracy is in trouble. Here are 10 reasons why our constitutionally enshrined democratic rights are under threat: 1. Threats of establishing a media appeals tribunal Not so long ago, the ruling…

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Just a thin line that keeps SA from going bust

When a top businessman like Johann Rupert states unambiguously to his shareholders that the country is in the dwang and going bust slowly, the riposte is predictable. It’s along the lines: “Of course he would say that. He’s an old, white, wealthy Afrikaner, hankering for the days when his Nationalist Party mates ran things.” They…

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Protecting Zuma by force: A dishonourable Parliament

Last night ANC MPs showed South Africa how far they were willing to go when others attempted to hold them to account. In the hours of bedlam, heckling, and howling[1] the ANC managed to push South Africa’s democracy to the brink. The ANC not only voted to protect President Jacob Zuma, who according the Public…

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Is the public protector an ‘enforcer’ or a ‘recommender’?

The public protector has dominated the news yet again this year, and I’m sure this has been the year with the most coverage in the public protector’s history. One thing that has been outstanding is the debate around the powers of the office of the public protector. The public protector falls under chapter nine institutions,…

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The monster in the attic needs therapy

The president’s Cabinet should be a cosy little family of government departments — an inner circle where each ministry supports the other, in turn all making common cause for the greater national good. Instead the avuncular Jacob Zuma presides over a dysfunctional, maladjusted and in some cases, downright sinister bunch. The bullying, thug portfolios congregate…

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A state of emergency?

There was a time when journalists knew not to ask too many questions. A time when they knew not to dig too deep. There was a time when they had a healthy respect for authority and knew their place. The Mail & Guardian‘s leak of the Nkandla report marks that moment when the journalistic profession…

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Marching left but walking (and talking) right

“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce” is Karl Marx’s famous quote in his 1852 book titled The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon. In the preface to the book, Marx said it was his specific intention to demonstrate how the class struggle in France created circumstances and relationships which made it possible for…

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