SACP disappointed in Madonsela

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Public Protector Thuli Madonsela Photo: Masi Losi

Johannesburg - The SA Communist Party is disappointed in Public Protector Thuli Madonsela for failing to investigate the “frequent” leaks of her provisional reports, it said on Thursday.

“The party is... disappointed at... Madonsela's stance not to institute (an) investigation into the violation of the Public Protector Act and the undermining of the integrity of (her) office,” SACP spokesman Alex Mashilo said in a statement.

“This posture compromises the commitment of the Office of the Public Protector to the rule of law... The office cannot 1/8be 3/8 exonerated from the leaks, which have been frequent for a long while now.”

Mashilo was reacting to Madonsela's defence on Wednesday against claims that her office leaked a provisional report on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's residence at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.

Madonsela said that her office had had the Nkandla report since March, but that nothing had been leaked.

She said it did not make sense for her to leak the report as she would not benefit.

The Mail&Guardian reported on Friday that a leaked provisional report by Madonsela revealed Zuma had received substantial personal benefits from the multi-million rand upgrade to Nkandla.

While the government had stated that the upgrades were essential for Zuma's security, the newspaper reported that the upgrade was found by Madonsela to include a swimming pool, visitors' centre, amphitheatre, cattle kraal, marquee area, extensive paving, and new houses for relatives.

The ANC accused Madonsela of leaking the report, and urged her to release the final version urgently or be accused of playing politics if it emerged too close to next year's general elections.

On Wednesday, she said her office had consistently said the report would be released at the latest by mid-January.

Madonsela said that as Protector she had no role in politics and harboured no intentions of channelling voters in certain directions at next year's polls.

She said the right to choose who governed the country was a fundamental part of the Constitution and something she would not tamper with.

ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said leaks of incomplete Public Protector reports were regular.

He recalled three other incomplete reports recently leaked concerning: Independent Electoral Commission chairwoman Pansy Tlakula, former communications minister Dina Pule, and Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

The SACP said it wanted an investigation into the leaks.


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