Johannesburg - AfriForum on Thursday opened a case against ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe and his deputy Jessie Duarte for allegedly contravening the Public Protector Act.
“The charges flow from a series of insults which were made by Mantashe and Duarte at a media conference two days back against Public Protector Thuli Madonsela,” AfriForum deputy CEO Ernst Roets said.
According to sections nine and 11 of the act it is a crime to insult the public protector, he said, adding that any person found guilty could be fined R40 000 or sentenced to a year in prison.
The case was opened at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria.
Station spokeswoman Captain Colette Weilbach could not immediately be reached for comment, nor could provincial police spokesman Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini.
On Tuesday, Mantashe told reporters Madonsela was abusing her office and trying to get the media's attention by saying things that were not in any report or being investigated.
Mantashe said Madonsela's conduct prejudiced the work of Parliament and its committees.
“That is why we are not attacking the public protector or her office but we are attacking the behaviour that is wrong,” he said.
Mantashe said it had become a norm that all public protector reports were leaked to the media before she had released them.
Duarte said Madonsela's attitude was that she was superior to the Constitution and Parliament, and above all institutions in the country.
The two were reacting to a letter Madonsela reportedly wrote to President Jacob Zuma last week about the R246 million spent on upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.
In her letter she reportedly cautioned him that he was second-guessing her recommendations that he repay part of the money spent on features unrelated to security, such as a swimming pool, cattle kraal, amphitheatre, and visitors' centre.
In his reply to Madonsela's report on Nkandla, Zuma indicated that Police Minister Nathi Nhleko should determine if he should repay any of the money.