The Hon. Thuli Madonsela

Former Public Protector of South Africa


South African Public Protector Adv. Thulisile (Thuli) Nomkhosi Madonsela was appointed by the President on the recommendation of Parliament with effect from 15 October 2010. At the time of her appointment, Adv. Madonsela was the only full-time Commissioner in the South African Law Reform Commission. Before that, she held various leadership positions in civil society and the public sector. These include membership of the inaugural Commission for Employment Equity and the steering Committee of the Legal Services Charter and various executive management positions in the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. Adv. Madonsela was one of the eleven technical experts that assisted the Constitutional Assembly in drafting South Africa’s new Constitution. She is a human rights lawyer, equality expert, constitutional analyst and policy specialist, who holds a B.A. Law degree and an LLB degree. She has also done postgraduate studies in various areas of the law, including constitutional law, equality, administrative justice and developmental law. Her postgraduate studies include executive leadership courses in areas such as leadership, strategic planning, project management and ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution).

She is the co-architect of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, the Employment Equity Act and the Local Government Transition Act. She has also contributed to laws such as the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act, the Repeal of the Black Administration Act, the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act and the reform of Customary Law and Related Matters Act. She has played a central role in the drafting of various transformational policies and related instruments, which include Justice Vision 2000, the Victims’ Charter, the National Gender Policy Framework and the policy framework that formed the basis of the Ministry for Women, Children and Disability Affairs.

She has written extensively, published and provided training on various aspects of the law, equality and human rights in general. Her work includes co-authoring the bench book for Equality Courts, a resource book for Equality Court clerks, a legal advice handbook on family law and related matters and handbooks on gender management, gender mainstreaming and leadership. Born in Johannesburg, to a working class family in 1962, Adv. Madonsela has had extensive involvement in international human rights work. This includes the drafting of certain instruments, drafting of country reports and participating in delegations to various international conferences and related fora.

"Keynote Address"

A Keynote Address by Thuli Madonsela (Public Protector of South Africa)
The Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy 2016
"Promoting Global Human Rights through Cultural Diplomacy"
(Berlin, December 14th - 19th, 2016)