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Johannesburg - The ANC has accused Public Protector Thuli Madonsela of trying President Jacob Zuma in the court of public opinion and projecting him as a law unto himself.
This came after she publicly expressed her dilemma about where to send her report into the R206 million upgrade to Zuma’s home in Nkandla.
Her dilemma stemmed from the fact that the Executive Members’ Ethics Act does not mention to whom the report should be submitted when the matter under investigation involves the president.
The ruling party parliamentary caucus on Wednesday denied there was a dilemma, saying Madonsela should submit her eagerly awaited report to Parliament.
“It is unfortunate that the public protector’s public remarks regarding her dilemma have subtly sought to try the president and his executive in a court of public opinion,” the party said in a statement.
Comment from Madonsela was not immediately available on Wednesday night.
Her spokesman, Oupa Segalwe, said she was on a flight and that he would reply to a media enquiry once he had managed to contact her.
Madonsela last week said the report was “virtually finalised” and that she had “asked the government to indicate how far they were with deciding where these kind of reports should go to”.
“The one issue that will arise, which we have raised with the Presidency, is whom do we give the report,” she added.
The ANC lashed out at Madonsela on Wednesday, accusing her of damaging Zuma’s dignity. “Her inferences in the media regarding lack of oversight mechanism over the president and regarding her predicament have unfairly projected the president and his executive as a law unto themselves, who do not want to be held accountable,” the ANC’s statement said.
Madonsela had said she encountered “unusual challenges” while compiling the report into the security upgrade of Zuma’s private home.
Opposition parties have persistently demanded that the report be released soon.
The DA’s parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko, said she would recommend to Madonsela that the report be tabled before Parliament’s public works portfolio committee.