While some African countries have shown an improvement in press freedom and freedom of expression ratings, others, including South Africa, are seeing worrying trends and a drop in rankings.
The public protector needs to be "fit and proper". That means he or she must be honest, reliable and have integrity.These qualities cannot be assessed through an interview and background checks only.
In many ways the office of the Public Protector has become the barometer of the state of South Africa’s constitutional democracy.
South Africa's transition to democracy was based on the values of inclusive politics, reconciliation, human rights and constitutionalism. Twenty-two years on, how has the country fared?
Ironically, the only feasible way of removing President Zuma lies outside the prescribed formal structures of the constitutional processes -- at the head office of the governing ANC.
In the words of US President Obama: Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions. In this light, the South African president's acceptance of a court ruling against him is a good thing.
Pessimists aren't asking if the glass in South Africa is half full. They want to know if there's anything in the glass. The answer is a pleasant surprise.
It is unlikely President Zuma will announce a structural changes in his State of the Nation Address. This, despite education being in dire need of fundamental restructuring and an economy in decline.