Madonsela evaluating CIA spy apology

2014-09-11 17:41
(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Cape Town - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Thursday said she was evaluating an apology by Deputy Defence and Military Veterans Minister Kebby Maphatsoe.

"Regarding the spy allegations, we have noted the media release by the deputy minister and my team has been helping me [with] evaluating the response," she said in Cape Town.

"I have that draft evaluation... Once we have done that evaluation process, we will determine what my next move is going to be."

The Star reported on Monday that Maphatsoe, also the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association chairman, had accused Madonsela of being a spy, insinuating she worked for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Madonsela's office on Monday gave Maphatsoe three days to back his allegations, or issue an apology and retraction. Maphatsoe apologised on Tuesday.

"On Saturday and Monday, I made statements in my capacity as the national chairperson on behalf of MKMVA about the Public Protector," Maphatsoe said in a statement.

Hate speech

"After consultation with my organisation, 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 offences and hurt that would have been caused."

Madonsela was asked whether she feared for her life or that of her family after increasing attacks on her character and actions.

"No, not really. Nobody has seriously, directly threatened me. My family has raised concerns though over being called a traitor, being called a foreign agent," she said.

A member of her team had raised the question that being called a spy was hate speech and incitement to harm.

"When you call somebody a foreign agent, you are inviting others to consider this person an enemy of the people of South Africa.

"And some of them might then assume that that call extends to them defending the country against this foreign agent. And it was the reason we then requested that this should be withdrawn."

Read more on:    anc  |  mkmva  |  thuli madonsela  |  kebby maphatsoe

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