Many hold the former public protector in very high esteem and would happily have her serve South Africans in a higher capacity.

However, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ascent to the presidency has brought hope to South Africans, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Tuesday.

”His election has put the country as a whole on the pedestal of hope… but a pedestal of hope is just a pedestal. It gives us higher ground to jump on to the next phase… it is not a summit,” said Madonsela, as she launched her eponymous foundation on Constitution Hill in Johannesburg.

”It will take all of us to join hands with the president and political parties to build a South Africa of our dreams…we cannot expect government to do everything.”

She said she welcomed former president Jacob Zuma’s resignation last week following pressure from the governing African National Congress (ANC) for him to leave office just less than four years into his second term.

”I welcome Zuma’s resignation and the dignity through which he addressed the nation…as captain of the ship there has to be people following you, whether you are doing good or bad… but when you get to a point where those people are not hopeful or persuaded by you anymore, then you have to step aside.”

Madonsela now chairs Stellenbosch University Law School’s social justice arm.  She launched the Thuli Madonsela Foundation on United Nations’ World Social Justice Day. Her organisation would focus on social justice work with communities.

Madonsela said everyone has a role to help uplift a fellow citizen, especially young people.

”We are lucky that we do not have incidents of terrorism yet… to ensure that does not happen, we need to make sure that young people are never left behind. It doesn’t take a lot to lift up someone else… such an act makes a big difference.’

”People left behind are not sorry cases as perceived… it is not true that poor people do not do anything for themselves, they do everything in their power to better themselves.”

She said she is not considering taking another role within the State but would focus on her academic work and community activism through her foundation.