Shai battles to support allegations

2012-11-27 18:18
Parliament (Picture: Sapa)

Parliament (Picture: Sapa)

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

Cape Town - Outgoing deputy public protector Mamiki Shai battled before Parliament's justice portfolio committee on Tuesday to substantiate allegations she has made against her boss Thuli Madonsela.

Her attempts to do so were labelled as "office politics" by Democratic Alliance MP Dene Smuts, who suggested such matters should not have progressed as far as a National Assembly committee.

"We have been expected to attend... We have had to study documents, and we have had to listen to what is essentially office politics," she said.

A "filter" was needed to ensure that such matters did not again progress to that point.

Smuts told committee chairperson Luwellyn Landers: "You and I... have for many years been throwing in the rubbish bin complaints very similar to [this] kind of thing."

Landers reminded members that Tuesday's meeting was the result of a request by Madonsela herself.

"Bear in mind that was our approach initially, until the public protector herself said to us, 'please investigate these anonymous complaints'."

Earlier, Shai told the committee that in the course of her work in the public protector's office, her signature had been forged by a senior staffer, and that the matter had been reported to the police, who were investigating.

However, she was unable to immediately tell the committee the case number or provide the name of the police investigating officer.

Landers called on Shai to provide these to him in writing.

Shai said she had come before the committee thinking it was a briefing.

"With a briefing really, for me... it's short. It's just to say that I'm here and yes, I did that... so I'm not prepared for a lot of things," she said.

Last month, Madonsela said allegations made about her by Shai were "false" and "misleading".

Among other things, these included that Madonsela had withheld a report on the DA-led Midvaal municipality until after the local government polls.

Asked by Landers whether her professional and personal relationship with Madonsela had deteriorated to an "irretrievable" point, Shai responded: "To tell you the truth... [she is] somebody I wouldn't want to work with, or even be friends, after the 30th [of this month]."

Smuts noted that Shai "has not been a happy camper" during her tenure.

However, her term of office ended on Friday; a new deputy public protector would come in; and the committee now needed to establish whether there actually had been any offences committed.

The appropriate place to establish this was when Madonsela appeared before the committee early next year, she said.

Referring to unsigned letters of complaint relating to the work of the public protector, Landers called on whistleblowers to shed their anonymity and come forward.

"We want to invite whistleblowers to take this opportunity to come forward. It is extremely difficult for us to give any credence to [anonymous letters]," he said.

After discussion, the committee set a 15 December "due date" for this to happen.

Landers said those who wished to speak out should contact him personally, through Parliament.

Read more on:    da  |  mamiki shai  |  dene smuts  |  thuli madonsela  |  luwellyn landers

Join the conversation! 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

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 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.