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Madonsela tells Mkhwebane inquiry that the security services spied on her Reserve Bank investigation

Forner public protector Thuli Madonsela appeared at the inquiry virtually. Screenshot

Forner public protector Thuli Madonsela appeared at the inquiry virtually. Screenshot

Published Mar 7, 2023


Cape Town - Former public protector Thuli Madonsela said she avoided being spied on by the State Security Agency (SSA) during the Gupta family Waterkloof landing incident probe, but couldn’t resist the SSA when it came to her Ciex/South African Reserve Bank investigation.

Madonsela made the remarks as she finally began her evidence to Parliament’s inquiry into her suspended successor Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness for office.

“I was being spied on by the SSA through sudden repeated requests to vet me during the Waterkloof landing incident investigation,” she said.

Madonsela mentioned an incident where she had left documents and a flash disk given to her by former Ciex chairperson Michael Oatley at the SA High Commission in London, only for the documents which were meant to be couriered by Dirco (Department of International Relations and Co-operation) to arrive at her office opened and with a note from the SSA director-general inside the box.

Regarding her investigation into Ciex, she said the “tone, scope, findings and remedial action” in both the issued provisional report and the final report differed materially from drafts the investigator had worked on and submitted to her, even though she had not approved such changes.

Madonsela began her testimony with a statement in which she said she was appearing “reluctantly” because the questions she had received from Mkhwebane’s legal team were around the Ciex and Vrede Dairy matters which she said had been extensively ventilated by the courts.

She said she had been apprehensive about being put in a situation where the matters were rehashed and couldn’t see the relevance in the questions.

Suspended public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and her senior counsel Dali Mpofu. Screenshot

Mkhwebane’s senior counsel, Dali Mpofu, began his questions to Madonsela by revisiting the issue of her amended statement to the inquiry which was dealt with by the committee last week.

Madonsela said quibbling on the matter was a waste of taxpayers’ money as it had been sorted out.

When Mpofu said she had made “multiple statements” to the committee, Madonsela retorted that he was “playing with words” because all she had done was correct typos in her original statement.

EFF leader Julius Malema then came onto the virtual platform to ask committee chairperson Qubudile Dyantyi to “speak” to Madonsela for talking back to Mpofu in an undignified manner.

Dyantyi said the matter had been attended to earlier.

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