Clerics blast Protector’s ‘scandalous’ report

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IOL pic dec17 thuli madonsela file Independent Newspapers Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. File picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on SABC Chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng is obsessed with vilifying him, a group of religious leaders said on Thursday.

“She is oblivious to the fact that... she is insulting the collective intelligence and wisdom of people who were Mr Motsoeneng's leaders at the SABC and used their discretion and wisdom for his rise through the ranks,” said bishop Pule Makgethi.

“The report is scandalous to say the least.”

When asked which churches the group represented, Makgethi declined to be specific.

He said they were leaders of various African Christian churches spread across the country, but would not name the churches.

He said the leaders came together to address media out of concern for “demonic forces which planned to derail the revolution and the freedom of our people”.

Madonsela's report on Motsoeneng, titled “When Ethics Fail”, found Motsoeneng's appointment was irregular, as was his salary progression. She found his salary increased from R1.5 million to R2.4m in one year.

The clerics also attacked Madonsela's report on Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) chairwoman Pansy Tlakula.

Madonsela used “insinuations” to poison the thinking of the public so that it could lose confidence in her ability to lead the IEC, they said.

In her report released in August 2013, Madonsela found that Tlakula acted irregularly in the procurement of the IEC office building in Centurion, south of Pretoria.

When asked why they seemed to be only concerned about Motsoeneng and Tlakula's investigations by Madonsela, Makgethi said they raised the matter after “observing a trend” from Madonsela.

“It is a dangerous trend from the public protector where reports are leaked and running her office through public opinion.”

He said the leaders were equally concerned about the Nkandla report, due to be released by Madonsela.

“She had announced that the report would be released on March 19, the day political parties are set to sign an electoral code at the IEC... is this a coincidence?”

Journalists at the briefing were caught off-guard as the priests stood up and asked everyone to pray for the SABC and “the demons in the media and the cameras”.

They raised their hands over journalists and photographers and asked God to remove the “evil in the media”.

Sapa



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