My colleagues and I often care for patients suffering from hallucinations, prophesying, and claiming to speak with God, among other symptoms—in mental health care, it’s sometimes very difficult to tell apart religious belief from mental illness…. Our conclusions frequently stem from the behaviors we see before us. Take an example of a man who walks into an emergency department, mumbling incoherently. He says he’s hearing voices in his head, but insists there’s nothing wrong with him. He hasn’t used any drugs or alcohol. If he were to be evaluated by mental health professionals, there’s a good chance he might be diagnosed with a psychotic disorder like schizophrenia. But what if that same man were deeply religious? What if his incomprehensible language was speaking in tongues?
06 July 2011
CASAC STATEMENT ON STORY OF IMMINENT ARREST OF PUBLIC PROTECTOR
CASAC is deeply disturbed at news of the possible imminent arrest of the Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela. This threat demands an urgent response from all right-thinking South Africans.
The timing suggests an attempt is being made to intimidate the Public Protector, as she prepares to release her new report on the SAPS leases in Durban, following as it does the unlawful raid on her offices in March 2011.
The Public Protector is one of a number of institutions established under Chapter Nine of the Constitution to support democracy. The Public Protector’s task is to fight corruption and maladministration in the public service. We need a strong, independent Public Protector if we are to combat corruption and improve public service delivery.
Thus, if the Public Protector is arrested it will be a dark day in South Africa’s young democracy.
While no-one is above the law and the allegations against Advocate Madonsela’s will need to proceed through the usual criminal justice process, the onus will be on the prosecuting authorities, including the police, to demonstrate that her prosecution was in the public interest and had nothing to do with her investigation into the probity of the SAPS in the procurement of accommodation in Pretoria and Durban.
We call upon all South Africans, who care about the rule of law and the Chapter Nine institutions, to join together in defence of the Public Protector. Sipho Pityana, Chairperson of CASAC says that “it is disconcerting that ordinary South Africans have to stand up to protect an institution that is in fact designed to protect us.”
In view of the critical role that the office of the Public Protector plays in our constitutional framework, CASAC also calls on President Zuma to clarify the nature of the investigation against Adv Madonsela, if any, and to assure the nation that the work of the Public Protector will not be compromised.
Lawson Naidoo – 073 158 5736
Masutane Modjadji – 076 937 0825
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