Advocate Thuli Madonsela, Public Protector – South Africa (Integrity Award)
Filed under - Politics and government
Thuli Madonsela does not hesitate to speak truth to power. In office since 2009, South Africa’s courageous Public Protector has investigated claims of corruption at the very highest levels of government without fear or favour, earning her the admiration of South Africans as well as the international community.
The Public Protector’s dedication to fighting the abuse of power reaches far beyond the cases that hit the headlines. In 2012/13 alone, Madonsela’s office dealt with over 35,000 complaints. In spite of financial constraints, she’s known for looking into allegations of corruption that hurt the most marginalised and vulnerable communities in South Africa, as well as for working closely with civil society.
Her most high-profile work to date is an investigation of the South African President’s alleged use of taxpayers’ money to purchase home improvements to his personal residence at Nkandla. In a hard-hitting report released in March 2014, Madonsela recommended that President Jacob Zuma apologise and pay back the money spent on refurbishments not related to security.