New Public Protector Office opens door to
09 Decemberr 2009
The office of the Public Protector has extended its
services to communities of Amajuba District in KwaZulu-Natal
with the opening of a new regional office in Newcastle.
Public Protector Adv Thulisile Madonsela, accompanied by
Deputy Public Protector Adv Mamiki Shai and the Deputy
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development Andries
Nel, among others, officially opened the doors of the new
office to locals.
The move to open an office in the area is in line with the
Public Protector’s continued effort to bring services closer
to communities, as required by the Constitution of the
Republic of South Africa.
Speaking at the launch, which took place on the eve of the
International Human Rights Day, Adv Madonsela urged
communities to utilise the office to report state conduct
that violates or undermines their human rights.
“You’ll agree with me that a lot of improper conduct by the
state invariably violates or undermines human rights. For
example, if your identity documents are not processed
appropriately, various human rights are affected, the key
ones being the right to citizenship and freedom of
movement,” she said.
Urging communities to fully utilise the new office, Adv
Madonsela said the Constitution gave her office powers to
ensure that for all improper conduct or prejudicial
treatment by the state, the Public Protector could provide
appropriate remedial action.
“To ensure such remedial action, we investigate, conciliate,
mediate, negotiate and take any other appropriate action to
ensure justice. When we find that the state acted
inappropriately, we say so,” she said, adding that her
office is required by the Constitution to be independent and
Deputy Minister Nel said government was prepared to work
with Chapter 9 institutions such as the Public Protector to
support constitutional democracy without compromising the
independence of such institutions.
“The office we are launching today will be meaningless if
the people’s complaints are not dealt with effectively,” he
The Newcastle regional office brings the total number of
such offices to eight across the country, complementing the
nine provincial offices and National Office in Pretoria. For
further accessibility to communities, the Public Protector
has mobile offices in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Eastern
Cape, reaching out to remote areas in those provinces.