Democracy demands regular free and fair elections, transparency and public
accountability. Public administration is subject to the democratic ideals of society and
in the case of South Africa it has been the premise on which the public service has been
founded since the inception of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
Section 195 of the Constitution contains the principles on which public administration
must be based. These principles include inter alia that public administration must be
accountable. To obtain, maintain and promote public accountability the Constitution
provides in chapter 9 for State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy. The
abovementioned provisions clearly identify the South African government’s commitment
to accountable public administration. In this article two cases are used to highlight the
effects of the role of the Public Protector as one of the Chapter 9 institutions and its
contribution to obtaining transparency and accountable public administration.