Parliament trying to keep Madonsela under its thumb

2015-05-13 18:53
Thuli Madonsela (Lerato Maduna, Netwerk24)

Thuli Madonsela (Lerato Maduna, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Parliament is going to hold Public Protector Thuli Madonsela under its thumb by forcing her to meet extraordinary requirements.

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice ruled on Wednesday that Madonsela must now formally report to him four times a year.

This was two more times than other Chapter 9 institutions and entities which the committee oversees.

The decision comes two weeks after chairperson Mathole Motshekga and ANC MP's personally attacked Madonsela and accused her of acting like the Democratic Alliance.

Madonsela said there was clearly "an elephant in the room", but declined to say whether the "elephant" was her Nkandla report.

Netwerk24 learnt that Madonsela was so upset about the incident that she wrote a letter to Baleka Mbete, Speaker of the National Assembly (NA), asking her to intervene.

In the letter Madonsela asked that Parliament organise a meeting between her, Motshekga, Mbete and other presiding officers.

Oupa Segalwe, Madonsela's spokesperson, confirmed on Wednesday that Madonsela had sent the letter to Mbete.

"The aim would be to stem the hostility that has characterised the committee’s last few interactions with the Public Protector," said Segalwe.

Meanwhile, the "witch hunt" against Madonsela continued on Wednesday.

Because Madonsela's office received an unqualified audit with findings during the last financial year, the committee during its budget speech said she had to submit an "audit action plan" to the committee and from now on do quarterly progress reports.

'Witch hunt'

Opposition MPs on the committee objected immediately and wanted to know why the Public Protector was being singled out.

The Public Protector is one of eight entities reporting to the justice committee. The Human Rights Commission (HRC) and the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) also received unqualified audits with findings, but still only have to report to the committee twice a year.

Third Party Funds received a qualified audit, but no additional measures were taken against the fund.

DA MP Marius Redelinghuys said this confirmed that idea that the Public Protector was being "persecuted" by the committee.

“This is what is considered by some as a witch hunt.”

ANC MP Bongani Bongo warned the DA to "not be emotional about this matter of the Public Protector”.

Motshekga said the committee respected the Public Protector and did not want it to be perceived that she was being "persecuted" but it was the committee's responsibility to hold the Public Protector accountable.

James Selfe, chairperson of the DA's federal council, said the committee's latest measures were "totally unjustified" and "over the top".

He said it showed again that Motshekga was picking on the Public Protector.

Selfe submitted a motion of no confidence in Motshekga two weeks ago for the way he treated Madonsela.

He is waiting for the motion to be placed on the justice committee's agenda.

Read more on:    mathole motshekga  |  thuli madonsela  |  cape town  |  politics

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