The Office of the Public Protector is an external state institution of the Republic of South Africa, tasked with the investigation of misconduct in any state affairs and all spheres of government including that of public administration in the country. It is one of the Chapter nine institutions independent of the Government.
The office was established by the Constitution to support constitutional democracy in the country.
The Public Protector, since October 2016, is Busisiwe Mkhwebane. She succeeded former Law Reform Commissioner and advocate, Thuli Madonsela who took up the post in October 2009. Madonsela had 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 new Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, was elected and officially appointed on 6 October 2016 and will serve the next seven year term officially starting on 15 October 2016. She has previously been employed - for five years - within the Public Protector's House. Similar to other Chapter Nine Institutions, the Public Protector serves to mainly protect the public's interest and fundamental human rights
The office of the Public protector has been faced with harsh criticism by parliament specifically by the majority party for requesting an increase of R200m in the budget allocation for additional resources. With the justice portfolio committee chairman Mathole Motshekga being critical of the budget and strategic presentation presented by Adv. Thuli Madonsela.
During the budget speech of 2015 the office of the Public Protector was allocated a total budget for 2015/16 of R 246.1 million an increase of R 60 million, as opposed to the increase of R 200 million initially requested. With R 15 million going to the employment of additional investigators and the retention of the 70 investigator who were previously appointed on contract.
The office of the Public Protector is required to appear before the National Assembly at least once every year. During the Adv. Thuli Madonsela's budget and strategic presentation, the advocate was requested to present progress reports before parliament on a quarterly basis. Wikipedia