Mkhwebane denies laying charges against Madonsela

2016-11-28 14:54
Busisiwe Mkhwebane (File)

Busisiwe Mkhwebane (File)

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Cape Town – Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has denied claims that she has opened a case against her predecessor, Thuli Madonsela.

This follows Sunday reports that Mkhwebane had laid a criminal charge against Madonsela following a complaint from President Jacob Zuma.

This was in relation to the leaking of an audiotape of a four-hour interview between Zuma and Madonsela.

"It is not true that Adv Mkhwebane laid charges against her predecessor. Instead, she opened a case at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria, requesting an investigation into the alleged leaks to establish if they amount to a breach of section 7(2) of the Public Protector Act," spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi said in a statement.

The decision to open the case was made after complaints were received from Zuma and Speaker Baleka Mbete's office, the Public Protector said.

Additionally, Mkhwebane had received a media query from a publication that claimed to be in possession of another recording related to the State of Capture investigation.

Mkhwebane was concerned that the alleged leaking of evidence could compromise the trust that the public had in her office, her office said.

This was what led to her office opening a case for investigation.

Mkhwebane 'saddened' 

"In order to maintain the credibility of the Public Protector... and for the people to trust the institution we need to safeguard whatever evidence such people, including whistleblowers, give to us," she said.

This was the only information she had shared with Sunday Times, she said, and it was not clear how the newspaper had interpreted the information in the manner that it did. 

According to the Sunday Times, Mkhwebane said the case was opened at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria on November 11. 

Mkhwebane was also "saddened" by former ANC Member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor's response to the article.

In the weekend reports, Mentor was mentioned as one of the people who had complained about the leaks.

Mentor accused the Public Protector of being a liar, promising to approach the bar council over the matter. She also plans to lay charges.

"I will never, ever for the duration of Busisiwe Mkhwebane's tenure send anything to her office. I will go to the courts. I will go to the human rights commission instead," she said on Sunday. 

Mkhwebane would be taking up her grievances with the Sunday Times and Mentor privately, her office said.

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