Johannebsurg - Leaks of incomplete reports by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's office happen regularly and prejudice its work, the ANC said on Wednesday.
“These leaks, that have become a regular feature in recent times, have the effect of not only undermining and prejudicing the integrity and the work of the Public Protector's office, but also 1/8of 3/8 harming the image and the standing of those who are being investigated,” African National Congress spokesman Jackson Mthembu said in a statement.
“We also welcome that the Public Protector agrees that, as the ANC, we had every right to be gravely concerned with the leaks regarding her investigation into the security upgrade at Nkandla and other investigations undertaken by her office before they are finalised.”
He said he knew Madonsela shared the party's concern that any leaks of any incomplete investigation could erode the standing and integrity of her office.
Mthembu recalled three other incomplete reports that were recently leaked. They concerned Independent Electoral Commission chairwoman Pansy Tlakula, former communications minister Dina Pule, and Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson, he said.
“Our view and our take is that the final responsibility rests with her office on any leakage of incomplete investigations by her office,” said Mthembu.
He said Madonsela's statement that she did not have the capacity to take those involved in the leakage to court, was an issue about which everyone should be concerned.
On Wednesday, Madonsela defended herself against claims that her office leaked the Nkandla provisional report.
“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 1/8media 3/8? It doesn’t make sense to me,” she told reporters
Madonsela said her office had had the Nkandla report since March, but that nothing was leaked.
It details her investigations into the R206 million upgrade to President Jacob Zuma’s homestead of Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.
Mthembu said the ANC was happy there was no disagreement between the party and Madonsela that the report be released as soon as it was finalised.
“The ANC wants to assure all people of South Africa, including the office of the Public Protector, that there was no intention and there will never be any intention on the part of the ANC to inhibit the work of the Public Protector,” he said.
“We expect her to do her work without fear, favour or prejudice. We have on numerous occasions defended and stood by her final reports and recommendations, indicating our respect for the work of her office.”
He said the ANC welcomed Madonsela's intention to meet for talks.