Public Protector of South Africa, Advocate Thuli Madonsela is one of seven highly esteemed figures to be awarded an honorary degree at UCT's June or December graduation ceremonies this year.
Thulisile Nomkhosi Madonsela is being honoured for her courageous execution of the duties of the office of the Public Protector: achieving and maintaining the values of "accountability, responsiveness and openness", which underlie South Africa's Constitution.
Advocate Madonsela holds a BA in Law from the University of Swaziland and an LLB from the University of the Witwatersrand. Her career as a human rights lawyer, equality expert and policy specialist included her work as a technical expert to the Constitutional Assembly, contributing to the drafting of the final Constitution.
When Madonsela was appointed Public Protector in 2009, she faced a challenge to establish a truly fearless and principled pursuit of probity, efficiency and honesty in government at all levels of the public administration. She has pursued both the letter and spirit of her mandate with enormous vigour, determination and sensitivity. She has had to navigate immense obstacles put in her path, and has refused to be overwhelmed by both the number and seriousness of the issues that have been brought to her office for investigation. Advocate Madonsela has unremittingly promoted the values of the Constitution through her work, and has not shrunk from pursuing accountability, even when attacked by leading figures within the political establishment. Despite intense attention and the stresses of office, she has retained both decorum and a sense of perspective. She has become a symbol of the fight against corruption and abuse of power.
Photo by Michael Hammond.
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