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Student body Cosas has retracted its comment that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has a “big, ugly nose” after a scolding from the ANC, but it did not apologise.
“The organisation retracts the particular sentence on the grounds that we want to shift the focus from Thuli Madonsela personally, to the office of the public protector and also to the Nkandla report...” Congress of SA Students president Collen Malatji said on Tuesday.
“We have agreed on principle that the utterances on the appearance of Madonsela were misplaced...”
Madonsela came under fire after releasing her report on the R246 million upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.
On Monday, Beeld reported that Cosas secretary general Tshiamo Tsotetsi labelled Madonsela “that woman with the big, ugly nose” at a gathering near Brits.
The crowd, consisting mainly of National Union of Mineworkers members and ANC Majakaneng, used vulgarities in expressing their anger at Madonsela.
“F**k off Nkandla report, f**k off”, and “F**k off Madonsela, f**k off,” the crowd shouted, according to the newspaper.
Cosas on Tuesday only responded to the comment by Tsotetsi.
“Comrade Tsotetsi spoke on behalf of the organisation, representing it and its views.
“As an organisation we welcome the representation from our SG. However, we do also note with condemnation that one sentence which came out turned [sic] to be a personal address to comrade Madonsela.”
On Monday, the African National Congress scolded Cosas and the ANC Youth League over their utterances about Madonsela.
“The secretary general of the ANC comrade Gwede Mantashe has therefore summoned the ANCYL and Cosas to explain their remarks on the public protector,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said.
Last week, the ANCYL said: “Madonsela must finish up with this Nkandla mess then go.”
It further claimed she was poisoning the public against the ANC.
Mthembu said the disparaging comments about Madonsela was in contrast with the ANC's own views.
“The remarks made and the sentiments expressed do not reflect the views of the ANC and are in contrast with the manner in which we... would expect members of the organisation to conduct themselves in debate,” he said. - Sapa