After a successful campaign launch by the Accountability Lab and partners, including the Nelson Mandela Foundation, LifeCo UnLtd and Democracy Works Foundation, Integrity Idol South Africa garnered hundreds of nominations of honest civil servants from across the country. The campaign has provided a platform to generate conversation on positive terms on role modeling accountability within the public service.
This project has drawn upon the successful implementation of Integrity Idol since 2015 in Nepal, Liberia, Mali, and Pakistan – which garnered millions of viewers (read more about Integrity Idol in the Guardian, BBC, and Foreign Policy). The winning Idols have now gone on to lead important reform processes in their countries based on the trust and credibility generated through Integrity Idol, and the Accountability Lab is now working with them to expand their integrity networks to do everything from developing national policies to redesigning curricula for civil service training schools.
Meet the Integrity Idols
Civil servants working in Health, Education and Safety and Security were eligible for nomination. A panel of highly respected South Africans gathered at Constitution Hill on March 7 to select a final six Integrity Idols. The final Integrity Idols are as follows:
Elizabeth Mkhondo is a nurse at Stanza Bopape Community Care Centre in Mamelodi, Tshwane. She serves in the facility’s TB unit and is unrelenting in her care towards all her patients. Elizabeth, in her colleagues’ words, is the facility’s preferred nurse of care to as she models the Public Servants Batho Pele principles. Stanza sees some of the highest drug-resistant TB cases in the country, Elizabeth ensures that her patients receive consistent and where necessary home-based treatment.
Vinny Pillay is a police officer at the Umhlali Police Station in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Described as a pillar of his community, he engages the youth by facilitating workshops in local schools. In his role of Captain, he often goes beyond the scope of his duties by attending to the broader socio-economic needs of the residents in Umhlali. He shares “My work as a police officer is a lifelong calling to continue to safeguard communities in South Africa. Integrity is fairness and working to bring about justice and protection to those we serve.”
Deon Easu and Jocelin Flank are Firefighters and EMS responders at the Florida Fire Station in Johannesburg. Together they have initiated the South African Fire Youth Academy to develop the next generation of EMS responders. Currently, the Academy engages more than 100 young people on a weekly basis. The Academy has remained a pillar in the community for past ten years and continues to role model ethical servant leadership within the public service.
Mirja Delport is a doctor at the Oudtshoorn District Hospital. Her personal experience of the public healthcare challenges inspires her to ensure that patients are directed to the correct health care access points to facilitate timely treatment. Dr. Delport also works at local community-based clinics in Dysseldorp in the Western Cape. She shares “Integrity for me is following up on all my patients and not letting one slip through the cracks. It is advocating for their care when they are not able to and it is a commitment to doing right.”
Natascha Meisler is an educator at PT Combined School in the Free State. She works as a special needs teacher, working closely with learners with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. She implements the curriculum by using innovative teaching and learning approaches for entrepreneurship and life orientation skills. Natascha’s care extends beyond the classroom as she continues to develop out of class learning experiences such as leading the development of a skate park built from recyclable materials.
South Africa’s first Integrity Idol will be announced at a public ceremony on 19 May at the Artscape Theatre, Cape Town.
How to vote?
National voting will begin on May 4 and end on May 18. The public can vote their Integrity Idol by SMS, WhatsApp and Web. Each Integrity Idol has been allocated a voting number:
- Elizabeth Mkhondo
- Vinny Pillay
- Deon Easu and Jocelin Flank
- Mirja Delport
- Natascha Meisler
SMS their number to 45736 (1 to 5) to or WhatsApp to 078 195 8385
Online voting at http: //www.integrityidol.org/
About Accountability Lab
The Accountability Lab is building a new generation of active citizens and responsible leaders around the world. We support change-makers to develop and implement positive ideas for integrity in their communities, unleashing positive social and economic change.