ANC unsympathetic as Madonsela asks for more funding

2014-10-23 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Public Protector Thuli Mado-nsela’s work as South Africa’s number one investigator is threatened because her office is “technically insolvent”.

Madonsela revealed the shocking news during a visit to Parliament yesterday, saying that her office would soon not be “operational” anymore, unless the government threw her a R64 million lifeline.

ANC members of the Justice portfolio committee were unsympathetic.

Committee chair Mathole Motshekga, a member of the ad hoc committee on the Nkandla issue, openly accused her of being “undemocratic” and said she is personally responsible for the “dysfunction” of her office.

He made the remark after Madonsela begged for more funding so she could appoint more staff. The office has just 413 investigators, who handled about 40 000 cases in the last year. Several have resigned because of the pressure and dozens are suffering depression, she said.

Motshekga refused to allow her to respond and adjourned the committee because of “a lack of time”. Madonsela had remained calm all morning, but this made her angry. “I am accused of being undemocratic. I think that is unjustified. It is not true that my staff are depressed because I am draconian,” she said.

She said the dire financial situation arose because she had not been given millions she had been promised to hire more staff.

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