July 13, 2024

Gcaleka Wants Non-Implementation Of PP’s Remedial Action Criminalised

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Gcaleka wants to see criminal consequences for institutions that don’t implement recommendations.

FILE PHOTO: Acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka is pictured during an inspection of the R31 road last week. PICTURE: Soraya Crowie

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CAPE TOWN: Gcaleka said that the institution needed these reforms to make its work more effective.

Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka wants to see criminal consequences for institutions that don’t implement recommendations emanating from investigations by that office.

It’s among a raft of proposed amendments to the Public Protector Act – including making remedial action binding – that has been submitted to the justice department for consideration.

Addressing the Cape Town Press Club on Tuesday in her first public engagement since her appointment two weeks ago, Gcaleka said that the institution needed these reforms to make its work more effective.

At the start of this year, only two per cent of remedial action made in formal reports by the Public Protector since March 2016 had been implemented.

That’s when the Constitutional Court ruled in the Nkandla matter that the Public Protector’s remedial actions were binding.

The implementation rate has now risen to around 18% but Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka says it’s necessary to amend the act to enforce compliance.

“We are actually calling for the criminalisation of the non-implementation of the Public Protector’s remedial action. The courts, our Constitution is clear that we are not merely making recommendations but we are taking remedial actions, and that they should be implemented.”

Another proposed amendment is for the law to distinguish between the Public Protector as an incumbent – and the office – for situations such as the legal review of its reports.

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