Kebby eats the humble pie over spy claim

By Drum Digital
09 September 2014

Defence and Military Veterans Deputy Minister Kebby Maphatsoe has backpedalled on his startling claim that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is an American spy.

Defence and Military Veterans Deputy Minister Kebby Maphatsoe has backpedalled on his startling claim that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is an American spy. Maphatsoe’s claim that Madonsela is a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) mole elicited widespread criticism, and led to the American Ambassador Patrick Gaspard’s office to say he would launch a diplomatic complaint over the remarks . The ANC had also distance itself from the comments, which it called “unfortunate”.

The public protector gave the deputy minister, who also chairs the ANC’s Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA),

72 hours to substantiate his claim or apologise.

On Tuesday night Maphatsoe issued a statement apologizing for the comments on behalf the MKMVA.

“After consultation with my organization, the African National Congress, it would seem as though my statements have been misunderstood and misinterpreted.

“I therefore withdraw those statements and apologise for any offence and hurt that would have been caused. However, the behavior of the public protector remains a source of concern to us,” he said through his spokesperson Mangaliso Khonza.

It is not the first time Maphatsoe has attacked Madonsela.

At an event to commemorate the assassination of SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani in Boksburg in April, he publicly accused Madonsela of harbouring ambitions of leading a political party.

Madonsela had found that President Jacob Zuma had unintentionally misled Parliament over the R246 million upgrades on his private in Nkandla.

“It is not correct for the Public Protector to submit a report and go on the offensive reporting to the country on a road show. Dr [Mamphela] Ramphele started like this when she started a party. To us it says Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is preparing herself to start a political party,” Maphatsoe said at the time.

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