Pretoria - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday defended herself against claims that her office leaked the Nkandla provisional report.
"The article itself said two senior officials from the cluster of security ministers had informed the author I had cleared the president," Thuli Madonsela told reporters in Pretoria.
She was referring to a recent news report. She said it did not make sense for her to leak the report as she would not benefit from this. Madonsela explained that her office had the report since March, but nothing was leaked.
"From where I’m sitting, I have no reason to suspect the leak is from my office. What do we benefit from leaking it to you (media)? It doesn’t make sense to me."
She said the leak would not jeopardise the integrity of her final report as its integrity depended on if another, reasonable, public protector would come to the same conclusion, and whether the facts would be the same.
"The process has just caused what we call case hardening. This means the terrain has become poisoned."
She said as a precautionary measure to limit leaks in future, affected parties would not be given the entire provisional report, but rather only the portions that involved them.
The report details her investigations into the R206 million upgrade to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.