19 October 2009
President Jacob Zuma has appointed human rights lawyer Advocate Thulisile Madonsela as South Africa’s new Public Protector. Madonsela replaces Advocate Lawrence Mushwana, who left the position on Friday after serving out his non-renewable seven-year term.
Madonsela was recommended for the position by a special parliamentary committee following a week of candidate interviews.
The Public Protector is an independent institution established in terms of Chapter 9 of the country’s Constitution to strengthen democracy by investigating alleged improper conduct by state agencies or officials.
Zuma said Madonsela was taking on an important responsibility. “She will need to ensure that this office continues to be accessible to ordinary citizens and undertakes its work without fear or favour.”
An advocate with extensive experience in constitutional, human rights and equality law, Madonsela was most recently a full-time member of the South African Law Reform Commission.
As a member of a judicial transformation task team, Madonsela helped draft bills and a strategic plan for transforming the country’s justice system and state legal services as well as the Victims’ Charter and gender and employment equity policy.
Zuma thanked Mushwana for the excellent service he had given to the country.