‘Mandonsela should have chosen official Women’s Day event’

2012-08-11 15:00

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela should have attended official Women’s Day celebrations on Thursday rather than go to a DA function, ANC chief whip Mathole Motshekga has said.

It was also wrong for her to speak at the gathering of the DA Women’s Network in Port Elizabeth, he said.

Motshekga lashed out at Madonsela in a statement, saying her “decision to attend a political party rally was ill-considered as it opens up her office to perceptions of political bias”.

He said Madonsela, as head of a government institution, should have attended the government-organised rally in Pretoria, addressed by President Jacob Zuma, or else the rally organised by the Eastern Cape government.

“She is accountable to Parliament and we as Parliament do not want her to be compromised,” he said.

Madonsela, however, hit back by telling eNews yesterday that she had also attended ANC rallies, like the ANC’s centenary celebrations in Bloemfontein in January.

Her office said in a statement her attendance of the DA meeting was “in fulfilment of her constitutional obligation of being accessible to all persons and communities”.

Her office said when she got the invite, the matter became part of her National Stakeholder Consultative Dialogue for 2012, “which includes accommodating special interest groups that request a specialised interface with the Public Protector”.

Motshekga, however, told City Press her attendance of the ANC rally was different because she wasn’t actually delivering a speech.

“There is a different in attending a meeting and addressing a political meeting,” he said.

Leader of the DA Women Alliance in the Eastern Cape, Celeste Barker, who organised Thursday’s gathering, said Madonsela’s speech wasn’t party political at all.

“Her topic was to tell us how we can redress the feminisation of poverty, unemployment and gender violence using constitutional mechanisms.”

Barker said Madonsela was invited as an “iconic woman in South Africa who embodies all the principles in the preamble of the Constitution”.

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