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Presidency does co-operate: Protector

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IOL SI Thuli Madonsela .jpg (37907101)

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Advocate Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Johannesburg - It is untrue that the presidency does not heed the findings of the Public Protector, incumbent Thuli Madonsela said on Monday.

There were only three reports in the last five years on which presidential action was still being awaited, she said in a speech prepared for delivery in Kempton Park.

“A perception is developing that the presidency does not implement the remedial action I take as mandated by section 182(1) (c) of the Constitution,” she said.

“This cannot be any more further from the truth.”

Matters on which action was still outstanding included the “Docked Vessels” report, released on December 4 last year.

Madonsela recommended that President Jacob Zuma consider disciplinary action against then-Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

This was for her reckless use of state money and services, resulting in wasteful expenditure, a loss of confidence in the South African fisheries industry and alleged decimation of South Africa's fisheries resources.

Joemat-Pettersson had opted to take the Public Protector to court to challenge the report.

Another outstanding case was her investigation into security upgrades to Zuma's Nkandla home.

She found Zuma and his family unduly benefited from the R246 million upgrades.

Madonsela said: “The president (Zuma) has partially complied while asking Parliament for more time as he awaits a Special Investigating Unit report that deals with aspects of the matter forming the subject of my report.”

She said on the same “Secure in Comfort” report, compliance reports from two of the key departments involved were submitted within the timelines stipulated in the report.

“The president's report to Parliament also complied with the 14 day requirement. It's true that what you focus on grows - hence the perception that non-compliance is the norm.”

She said that last year, her office issued fewer than 30 formal reports. In most of these, her findings were quietly accepted and remedial action implemented without any drama.

In the year ending March 31, 2014, her office handled about 40 000 cases, with 32 000 of these concluded.

The reality was the public only heard about a handful of cases via the news because of the issues and high profile state actors involved, Madonsela said.

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