Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Public Protector needs protection

The Public Protector needs protection.

I was watching morning live when the public protector was interviewed about the controversial 500 million police headquarters leasing deal. She went briefly over what the procedure that was supposed to have been followed is as opposed to what General Bheki Cele and Minister Mahlangu-Nkabinde did.

I was happy to see that there is someone who is trying to combat corruption in government yet I also found myself wondering whether the case will have a happy ending were the corrupt officials are being punished. With the mafia way that South African politics run, a couple of scenarios of how the people investigated could get out of the whole thing came to mind. It's no secret that corrupt officials will go to any lengths to cover their tracks an example of that would be the Mpumalanga killings that happened in between 2008 and 2009. In this instance though my imagination went only as far as case files going missing or the Public Protector being investigated and sacked for some odd thing.

This morning I felt like kicking myself for not taking a bet over what I thought would happen to the Public Protector vs. Cele case when I saw an article in the Sunday Times which read "Sleuth's Cele files deleted by hacker". The article speaks how files relating to the Roux and Cele case have been destroyed from an investigator's laptop. It has been a trend with high profile cases that files would go missing or evidence would get tempered with one way or the other so it was not hard for me to predict that it could happen even in this case.

My only hope is that investigators made back up files because if there are no backup copies that would either prove incompetence and negligence or foul play and I do hope that in the end General Cele and Minister Mahlangu-Nkabinde lend up in court to answer for what they did. The government and opposition parties all talk off combating corruption yet it doesn't seem as though they are playing an active role in making sure that justice is served and that cases are investigated as quickly and thoroughly as possible instead of dragging long enough for evidence to go missing in the process. I also don't see much happening in protecting those dealing with these high profile corruption cases and those exposing corruption and irregularities in government processes. It is however good to see that the Public Protector is getting support from the public.

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