Public Protector

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The Public Protector is an office established by the Constitution of South Africa. It is one of the Chapter nine institutions, named for the constitutional chapter that establishes a number of bodies with the mandate to guard democracy.

It is similar to the office of ombudsman in other countries.

The incumbent, since October 2009, is former Law Reform Commissioner and advocate, Thuli Madonsela. She succeeded Lawrence Mushwana, who took office on 15 October 2002. Selby Baqwa, Mushwana's predecessor, was the first person to hold that office from its inception in 1995.


The Public Protector may investigate, on the basis of a complaint or on its own initiative, any level of government. This includes national, provincial and local government, any public office bearer, any parastatal and any statutory council.

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