Madonsela feared for her life: Report

2014-03-23 07:47
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela . (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela . (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Cape Town - Public protector Thuli Madonsela said this week that she had feared for her life during her months-long probe into the security upgrade issue of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

In a reported interview with the Sunday Times, Madonsela said she had not been afraid of a government or ANC-ordered hit but rather of “people inciting crazy elements”.

It was also reported that Madonsela said she had been afraid that the controversial probe might never be completed after she was ordered by numerous senior officials to stop her investigation.

She said she had feared being suspended in order to stop the probe.

Madonsela said in her report which was released this week that Zuma and his family had improperly benefited from R215m security upgrades to his Nkandla home. Outstanding work on the property was around R36m.

Madonsela had stressed that there the report had no political motive.

"There is nothing political about the investigation. All I have done as an ombudsman is to discharge my responsibility," she said in Sapa report.

"It is about public accountability. Government created that need for public accountability. I have done nothing more than discharging my responsibility."

Despite this, she came under attack from the ANC Youth League, as well as the South African Communist Party.

The ANCYL had called on Madonsela to quit, saying the report was "a clear sign" she was an "opposition puppet".

"Madonsela has been frequenting DA tea parties during her Nkandla investigation. She needs scrutiny,” the league was quoted as saying.

The league had further accused Madonsela of abusing her office and working with other political parties.

"As we are a generation that remains the future of this country... we would be happy if institutions of our democratic state cannot [sic] be abused by those who hold office working with opposition parties," the ANCYL's national convenor Mzwandile Masina said in a statement.

The SACP questioned the credibility of the Nkandla report, saying it was "extremely concerned" at the manner in which Public Protector Thuli Madonsela handled the investigation.

It also questioned the presence of the media at the release of the report in Pretoria, as well as the timing of the release.

"The media was 'locked up' in a boardroom... for about three hours to go through the final report prior to its release via a press conference, while the affected persons were never given such adequate opportunity.

"The public protector does not report to the media, but to Parliament, and therefore her media-driven strategy is seriously flawed and shows a complete misunderstanding of the office of the public protector."

It called for "abuses of power and the leaks" from Madonsela's office to be investigated and addressed decisively.

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Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  thuli madonsela  |  nkandla upgrade
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