ANC MPs attack Thuli

2014-07-05 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was accused in Parliament yesterday of having “political motives”.

Madonsela, who addressed the portfolio committee on justice to present her budget, was calm under repeated ­attacks by ANC MPs.

“What I want to touch upon is the political position taken by the Public Protector,” said ANC MP Thomas Bongo, also an advocate. “It looks as if the PP takes political sides, which could harm the integrity of her office.”

After Bongo’s remarks, more ANC MPs accused Madonsela of political ­bias, saying she “investigates cases ­referred to her on the basis of a political agenda”.

In March, Madonsela found President Jacob Zuma benefited personally from some of the R246 million spent on his estate at Nkandla. No one ­mentioned the issue directly yesterday.

DA and EFF committee members defended Madonsela, decrying the attacks on her integrity and saying she has done good work.

Madonsela said she is not aware of any case where she acted in a political manner. “I would like clarity, because I am not aware that I have ever done that,” she said.

ANC members also criticised ­Madonsela for accepting funds from the German agency for international co-operation (GIZ). She replied that she decided after much thought to accept the donation because her office’s funding was at a crisis point.

ANC MPs said she should not have accepted funds from people who might have “hidden agendas”.

Madonsela said her budget of R199,25 million for 2013/2014 was too little, and she was forced to accept additional funding. Her budget was placed under further pressure by legal costs of R10 million, partially to fight a bid by the security cluster to prevent the ­release of her Nkandla report.

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