Madonsela ‘is nothing but a mediator’

2015-01-25 15:00

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Public Protector Thuli Madonsela “is claiming powers she does not have” and her role is really nothing more than a kind of “mediator”.

This was said by Tina Joemat-Pettersson, former minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, in an affidavit submitted as part of a case in which she disputes serious findings made against her by Madonsela.

City Press has learnt that Madonsela will serve court documents this month opposing Joemat-Pettersson’s case.

Now minister of energy, Joemat-Pettersson’s lawsuit is one of three of Madonsela’s high-profile investigations that are expected to be challenged by senior members of government this year.

There are still delays in Parliament over Madonsela’s Nkandla report. At present, she is involved in a lawsuit over the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as COO of the SABC.

Madonsela found in December 2013 that President Jacob Zuma should consider disciplinary action against Joemat-Pettersson over her conduct in connection with a tender awarded to Sekunjalo Marine Services Consortium.

She found there were irregularities in the awarding of a tender by the department to provide services to the department’s patrol vessel fleet.

Joemat-Pettersson says in her statement that when Madonsela approached her “on this matter, she was prejudiced towards me and she was angry that I refused to respond [to her requests]”.

Madonsela found Joemat-Pettersson gave “hasty notice” to Smit Amandla Marine, which provided the service previously, to hand over all its functions to the navy. This was after it had blown the whistle over irregularities in the awarding of the tender to Sekunjalo.

But Joemat-Pettersson says in her statement that Madonsela “claimed powers that she does not really have, including the power to set deadlines for answers to her letters and that I must submit a plan for implementation of her report.

I was informed that, in terms of legislation, her powers are limited to mediation, conciliation and giving advice to complainants where, in the circumstances, it is required.”

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