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South Africa’s Public Protector Thuli Madonsela wins Transparency International’s Integrity Award

Transparency International today proudly announces that Thuli Madonsela of South Africa has been selected as the winner of the anti-corruption group’s Integrity Award for 2014.

The Integrity Awards were created in 2000 to recognise the courage and determination of the many individuals and organisations fighting corruption around the world.

As South Africa’s Public Protector, Madonsela and her office have investigated corruption from the lowest to the highest levels of South Africa’s government. Despite being subject to intense political scrutiny and pressure she has made her judgements without fear or favour, earning the admiration of South Africans as well as the international community.

“Thuli Madonsela’s work embodies Transparency International’s deeply-held belief that the corrupt should not be allowed to get away with their misdeeds,” said JC Weliamuna, Chair of Transparency International’s Integrity Awards Committee. “Her unwavering courage and commitment to upholding the rule of law is truly inspirational.

Madonsela is the first South African to receive an Integrity Award. In her highest-profile work to date she investigated the South African President’s alleged use of taxpayers’ money to purchase millions of dollars-worth of home improvements to his personal residence at Nkandla. In a hard-hitting report (pdf) released in March 2014, Madonsela recommended that President Zuma apologise and pay back a reasonable portion of the money spent on refurbishments not related to security.

Madonsela’s office dealt with over 35,000 complaints in 2012/13. In spite of financial constraints, she is known for looking into allegations of corruption that hurts the most marginalised and vulnerable communities in South Africa as well as for working closely with civil society.

Transparency International received an unprecedented 127 nominations for the Integrity Awards in 2014, reinforcing our belief that there is a need to celebrate the many heroes of the fight against corruption. Nominations for this year’s award were submitted by the public and Transparency International chapters around the world. The jury for the awards is a committee of 11 individuals from across the world who have been active in the anti-corruption movement for many years. Past winners include corruption fighting journalists, activists and government officials.

Madonsela will receive her award later today at a ceremony in Berlin.

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Chris Sanders
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