Mbete 'regrets' tone of engagement with public protector

2016-04-03 19:00
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete (Parliament TV)

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete (Parliament TV)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete on Sunday said she "regretted" the hostile reception Public Protector Thuli Madonsela got while presenting her budget to a parliamentary committee last year.

A journalist had asked whether Mbete regretted the "brutal nature" of the engagement between Madonsela and some ANC MPs.

"I don’t believe she ever went to any of the ad-hoc committee meetings. She was never part of that," Mbete told journalists at a briefing called to respond to the Constitutional Court's ruling on Nkandla.

"We understand what was reported to have happened in the justice portfolio committee and I can tell you I also regret some of what I read in the media happened in terms of the tone of engagement with her, but that is all I can say."

Mbete said she could not be expected to anticipate whether certain MPs were now going to say anything or change their views.

When Madonsela appeared before the Justice and Correctional Services Committee last year, some ANC MPs interrupted her while she spoke, accusing her of being friends with the DA, and criticised her presentation as meaningless and lacking in substance.

In July, justice portfolio committee chair Mathole Motshekga told the Nkandla ad hoc committee: "We should not, and cannot, apologise when we say the report of the public protector is misleading and has misled the nation."

On Thursday, the Constitutional Court ruled that both President Jacob Zuma and the National Assembly were in breach of their constitutional obligations in the Nkandla matter.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng ordered that the National Assembly's absolving Zuma from compliance with the public protector's remedial action was invalid and set it aside.

Mbete on Sunday would not go as far as apologising to Madonsela.

"Now I don't know who owes the public protector an apology about what because as far as Parliament is concerned, the situation has been explained," she said.

She was appreciative of the legal clarity the judgment provided.

At the same time, she said the court had found actions were inconsistent with the Constitution, not that Parliament had "violated" the Constitution.

"There is no such statement in the judgment."

"It was not maliciously done because there was hatred for the public protector. It has got nothing to do with the person."

Mbete said the fact that they were not suppressing debate on a motion calling for Zuma's impeachment, planned for Tuesday, should be welcomed.

She would not consider recusing herself from the debate.

National Council of Provinces chair Thandi Modise said she certainly would not consider resigning. Mbete too was not considering resigning.

Modise said the relevant committees had sought legal opinion on the Nkandla matter and that "there was an area that was really grey".

"Parliament needs to go back to its processes and systems. Are we capacitated enough? I believe that anytime you fall and you rise, you learn."

Read more on:    baleka mbete  |  politics  |  nkandla upgrade

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

How much food do you need to concentrate?

We have been taught that we need three meals a day in order to make it through the day and while most of us indulge in more than our fair share there is a large portion of South Africans who are living off barely enough to sustain them.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.