Let’s talk, says Thuli

2014-08-29 00:00

PUBLIC Protector Thuli Madonsela has requested a “quiet” meeting with President Jacob Zuma to elicit his views and concerns on the ­Nkandla issue.

Madonsela made the announcement yesterday at a media conference in Pretoria, which she called in reaction to the war of words that the ANC had waged against her since Sunday.

The ruling party’s attack on the PP followed a confidential letter that Madonsela wrote to Zuma about her Nkandla report, in which she demands the president react to the findings of her office. The letter was leaked to City Press and the Sunday Times, which published extracts of it.

The ANC then attacked Madonsela and even accused her of conspiring with Julius Malema and his Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

Madonsela said the leaking of the letter, which she still deems confidential, was a “problem”.

“What makes it a bigger problem, is that I had confidentially learnt the letter was leaked by a senior politician.”

Madonsela refused to name the politician. She said the leak and the ruling party’s ensuing reaction boiled down to interference in the operation of both her office and the state, which if continued, would lead to a dysfunctional state.

“Had the letter not been leaked, the president would have graciously considered my letter, as he has always done,” said Madonsela.

She said even if Parliament was unhappy, the ensuing hysteria and mudslinging was unnecessary.

Madonsela said she answers to the National Assembly and the speaker of Parliament could contact her anytime if her version was seen to threaten Parliament or undermine its processes. She would have explained herself and the parties would have found “a road ahead in line with the architecture of our constitutional democracy”.

Madonsela said she will not go to court to force Zuma to implement her Nkandla recommendations or to take steps against the ANC reaction.

“The idea is to avoid the courts. I believe in dialogue. That is why I will meet with President Zuma.”

She hopes the drama since Sunday is now in the past.

She said she had been called names in the past few days and ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe even “saw her ghost” in Parliament when the EFF heckled Zuma and chanted he had to give back the money spent on his private estate at Nkandla. Madonsela said she was in Pretoria at the time.

She said it is absurd for the ANC, which had first put her in the DA camp, to now associate her with the EFF. Madonsela said she does not know what the ANC’s motive was to attack her office and person, but believes she will complete her seven-year term, which ends in two years.

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