South African civil society organizations have praised Public Protector Thuli Madonsela for creating unprecedented interest in the work of her office, one of the Chapter Nine institutions established under Chapter 9 of the South African Constitution to guard the country’s democracy.

Interviews for the position conducted by Parliament’s Ad Hoc Committee last week to find a replacement for Madonsela attracted widespread public participation. Madonsela vacates the position in October after completion of her non-renewable single seven-year term in oiffice.

The committee interviewed all 14 candidates in a marathon session which lasted almost 20 hours.

The Executive Director of Corruption Watch, David Lewis, said Sunday that the the public interest in the process was because of Madonsela’s hard work.

“Madonsela is one of the most revered public servant because of the work that she has done. She did it without fear or favour and it was generally met with public acclaim and support and that is why there is so much interest in the job,” said Lewis.

Some members of the public acknowledged that the profile of the Office of the Public Protector had been elevated the past few years.