IN SPOTLIGHT: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has been fingered over allegations of impropriety. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

Babalo Ndenze

Political Bureau

PUBLIC Protector Thuli Madonsela is under scrutiny again, with the auditor-general and the police expected to investigate |a slew of anonymous allegations against her and her office, |ranging from fraud to maladministration.

Parliament’s oversight committee on justice and constitutional development yesterday considered some of the allegations raised |by “concerned staff” from Madonsela’s office.

The committee had agreed to consider the allegations, despite its misgivings about them having been made anonymously, on Madonsela’s insistence.

One of the allegations was that the public protector in Kimberley had received bribes from the DA to fast-track cases.

The Office on Institutions Supporting Democracy, headed by advocate Nonkusi Cetywayo, submitted a memorandum with a 15-page dossier of complaints from the concerned staff members against Madonsela.

The committee is considering these claims after hearing others levelled by Madonsela’s former deputy Mamiki Shai, who battled to substantiate her allegations against her former boss when she appeared before the committee last year.

Shai had claimed in her dossier that Madonsela had changed findings of a report concerning the |DA-led Midvaal Municipality and deliberately withheld the release |of the report into Midvaal Municipality until after local government elections.

In the dossier addressed last year to Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly Nomaindia Mfeketo, the concerned staff say it was out of “sheer desperation, frustration |and on the basis of legal advice” that they had decided to approach her and the National Assembly with the complaints.

The complaints revolve around maladministration, misappropriation of public funds, improper conduct, intimidation and victimisation.

DA MP Debbie Schafer said the committee should identify what issues it wanted addressed |by Madonsela herself and she should come to answer the committee at a meeting agreed on “and |that she comes prepared to answer those questions”.

“There are a number of allegations of non-compliance with the (Public Finance Management Act) PFMA. And also there are allegations regarding inflated tenders and so on, and the allocation of tenders, and I would like to see these investigated by the auditor-general if possible,” said Schafer.

She said she would also like the appointment of consultants raised with the auditor-general.

“There are also allegations that the public protector in Kimberly has received bribes from the DA to fast-track cases. I would like to hear about that as well,” said Schafer.

ANC MP Pilane Majake said when she looked at the seriousness of some of the allegations “you realise that for us to really have closure there is a need for some kind of investigation”.

“Of course if you look at some of these allegations, browse through the document, some are pure (human resources) matters like nepotism (and the) manner in which staff is hired. Then you get wasteful expenditure on some of the most expensive equipment that is not being used. This would require the PSC (Public Service Commission) and auditor-general to look into the matter and give us a report,” said Majake.