'Government made best choice for next public protector' – Madonsela

2016-09-15 09:25
Outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. (Lizeka Tandwa/News24)

Outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. (Lizeka Tandwa/News24)

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Johannesburg – Government's choice of the next public protector should be respected, outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Wednesday.

"Government has made the choice that government considers the best in terms of having a fourth public protector. It's not for me or my predecessors to judge whether it's good or bad," Madonsela said.

She was speaking to journalists at the Rhema Bible Church’s "Truth Be Told" conference, where she delivered a speech about gender-based violence.

She would support her successor, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, during her term in office.

"What is required now is to support that person and make sure that they take this office to the next level."

She cautioned Mkhwebane against trying to mimic her, because the office would decay.

Rhema founder, Pastor Ray McCauley, said it was important for the church and the public protector’s office to work together.

"It’s vitally important for us to work together. It's vitally important for us to embrace the public protector and the church has to be in a position where we have to embrace each other," he said.

Spy accusations

Mkhwebane’s candidacy was endorsed with an overwhelming 263 votes by the National Assembly on Wednesday. A total of 79 MPs voted against it, while one MP abstained.

Mkhwebane said the DA’s accusation that she was a spy working for the State Security Agency was "so unnecessary".

"Especially considering that they had a chance to ask me during interviews," she said.

She would deal with the allegations at an appropriate time.

The DA voted against Mkhwebane getting the post, saying she was not the best candidate. Cope abstained.

"Worryingly, we have been advised that the time spent as an 'immigration officer' in China is also suspicious, having been informed that this is simply coded language for being on the payroll of SSA," DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said before the National Assembly voted.

The ANC criticised the DA for making "malicious and defamatory allegations" against Mkhwebane.

Read more on:    public protector  |  thuli madonsela  |  johannesburg

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