Madonsela extends olive branch to ANC

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IOL pic july31 thuli madonsela file Independent Newspapers Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. File picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Pretoria - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Thursday called on the ANC to contain the tension between the party and her office.

“Let us manage the tension as grown ups and in a manner that respects the institutions beyond our times 1/8in office 3/8,” she told reporters in Pretoria.

“Can the name calling stop. It is not helpful to our democracy.”

Madonsela and the African National Congress have been at odds following the leaking of a letter she wrote to President Jacob Zuma.

She reportedly wrote to 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.

Since then, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has publicly criticised Madonsela and suggested she was working with Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters.

Madonsela rejected Mantashe's claims that she was in Parliament when EFF MPs heckled Zuma last Thursday. He suggested this was proof that she was part of the EFF's “offensive” against Zuma.

She said she was in Pretoria with Communications Minister Faith Muthambi.

“I have been called names and presented as a ghost in Cape Town. I would like to put that behind us,” she said.

Madonsela asked for the separation of state and party to be respected.

She said she would ask for a quiet meeting with Zuma to elicit his views and concerns. This was so her office could continue to be a resource to the government and people of South Africa in rooting out maladministration and improper conduct in state affairs.

“I will also request an engagement with the presiding officers with a view to improving ways of working together in pursuit of the South African dream of a state that acts with accountability, integrity and responsiveness at all times and progressively delivers on an improved quality of life for all and freed potential of all persons,” she said.

Madonsela added that such a co-operative approach was in line with the National Development Plan, which requires strengthening institutions such as the public protector, and with the Constitution.

“I have no doubt that as sons and daughters of this nation we are equal to the task. We have overcome worse situations,” she said.

Sapa



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