Madonsela rubbishes ANC’s statements on Nkandla report

2013-12-04 15:07

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Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has rubbished claims by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe that her office had leaked the report on security upgrades to the president’s Nkandla homestead to the media.

Madonsela told reporters at a briefing convened at short notice in Cullinan near Pretoria this afternoon that a draft of her provisional report on Nkandla was only given to five ministers.

This was to deal with security concerns in the report, and not for engagement.

“I gave an electronic version with passwords to five ministers in the security cluster,” she said. These ministers then afterwards told newspapers that they had given copies of the report to their officials to deal with security concerns. A hard copy of the report was also given to a judge on a confidential basis after the security cluster had taken Madonsela to court last month to try to force her to give them more time to respond to the security concerns. She also rubbished claims by Mantashe that she had admitted to leaking the report.

“My office had no benefit in leaking the report,” she said.

She also said Mantashe had read her press statement of Monday selectively.

She said in future she would only release snippets of the report to affected and interested parties to prevent leakages.

Madonsela also denied that she had said she would release the report in March next year as Mantashe had claimed. He yesterday hinted that Madonsela might delay the release of the report to just before the elections for political reasons.

She said she would not lay criminal charges against anyone for publishing the provisional report. “If I had to lay criminal charges, I would have to take the whole (media) industry to court,” she said.

Madonsela said there had not been problems with leaked reports of late, until about two weeks ago.

She said she had appealed to editors and journalists not to publish leaked reports.

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