Madonsela has president's backing
Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has come out in support of beleaguered Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, saying that her office has an important role to play in a constitutional democracy.
A statement issued late on Thursday said the presidency had noted with concern continued media reports that suggested the office of the public protector was threatened and was being undermined.
"The presidency wishes to reiterate the government's commitment and support to the work and office of the public protector as stipulated in law.
"The public protector has an important role to play in our constitutional democracy and should be respected and given the space to do its work," it said.
The statement also said that the public protector, as an institution of state, should be allowed to do its work without fear or favour and without hindrance.
"While the presidency recognises that no person is above the law, any law enforcement agency established through our constitution should be free to do its work within the framework of the law," it said.
Media reports earlier this week claimed that Madonsela would be arrested on charges of fraud allegedly committed while she worked as a commissioner at the SA Law Commission four years ago.
Madonsela denied the claims and said in a press conference on Wednesday: "There are no documents showing that I have committed any fraud."
The timing of the leaks and the claims Madonsela would be arrested were questioned by political parties and others as the public protector was investigating claims that SA Police Service commissioner Bheki Cele had improperly entered into a deal to lease buildings for the police in Durban and Pretoria.
Earlier this year members of the SA Police Service's crime intelligence branch raided her office.