17 July 2015
The General Council of the Bar of South Africa will bestow the Sydney and Felicia Kentridge Award on Thuli Madonsela, the public protector, at its annual general meeting in Cape Town on 18 July 2015.
The tribute is given to people or institutions that have made an outstanding contribution to law in southern Africa worthy of public recognition.
“I am deeply honoured by the award‚” Madonsela said.
“The greatest value in these awards is the recognition and affirmation of the public protector as an institution,” the advocate said. “They also inspire interest in the institution as an important avenue for access to justice in the area of administrative law and public accountability as an essential for strengthening constitutional democracy.”
The award is named after Sydney Kentridge‚ who was the counsel for the defence in major South Africa political trials‚ and his late wife‚ Felicia‚ who was also a human rights advocate.
Lady Kentridge‚ who died last month‚ was a co-founder of the Legal Resources Centre.
Previous recipients of the award include late chief justices Arthur Chaskalson and Pius Langa; Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke; Justice Yvonne Mokgoro; senior counsel George Bizos; and human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa from Zimbabwe.
Office of the Public Protector
Madonsela has been the public protector since October 2009 following a unanimous vote in parliament. She is the first woman to hold the position.
“Since Advocate Madonsela took office, the Public Protector as a constitutional institution has tackled tough questions and has received unprecedented national and international recognition,” reads her profile on the Office’s website, “which has included her being recognised by Time magazine as one of the world’s most influential people in 2014.”
The main job of her office is to investigate abuses of power and maladministration of state affairs, mediate administrative disputes, and advise on possible solutions through recommendations and reports.