Madonsela not a security expert - ministers

2013-11-14 14:46
Thuli Madonsela  (File, Volksblad)

Thuli Madonsela (File, Volksblad)

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Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is not an expert on state security, a cluster of security ministers said in a court affidavit on Thursday.

"It will be argued at an appropriate time... that the respondent [Madonsela], not being an expert on matters of security, cannot be an arbiter on whether or not there exists a security breach from the contents of the provisional report," they said in papers released by Madonsela's office.

The ministers said they had no intention of interfering with the functioning of Madonsela's office or her independence.

National security

"The only interest the applicants have in this matter is where security issues arise. We have a constitutional obligation to preserve national security, which ordinarily includes the security of the head of state.

"This cannot be interpreted to be interference with the office of the respondent."

Madonsela's provisional report contains details about the R206m upgrade to Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

The draft report was given to the security cluster of ministries on 1 November following a special request for access ahead of all other parties, to establish if its contents would compromise Zuma's security.

The cluster filed an urgent application on Friday to prevent Madonsela from releasing the report.

The State's application was set down to be heard by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

On Wednesday, Madonsela made public her court documents opposing the interdict. In them, she said the State had made several attempts to stop her investigation.

'Confidentiality of classified information'

In their affidavit on Thursday, the ministers of police, public works, defence and state security said Madonsela had attached the provisional report to her court affidavit.

They objected, and said there was no need for the contents of the report to be filed.

The ministers said they were trying to "protect the confidentiality of classified information".

"The respondent has attached the confidential provisional report to her answering affidavit, without leave of the court, and without any request for an in camera hearing.

"The filing of the papers served no legitimate purpose," they said in their affidavit.

Read more on:    public protector  |  thuli madonsela  |  security  |  nkandla upgrade

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