Thuli Madonsela accused of ‘hiding’ a report

2013-11-10 14:00

Justice portfolio committee chairperson Luwellyn Landers has questioned why Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was ostensibly trying to “hide” a report from Parliament.

Landers yesterday told City Press that an ad hoc committee tasked with deciding what to do with the Public Protector investigation into the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) was somewhat “confused and mystified” over Madonsela’s “bizarre” approach.

On Thursday, Landers, who chairs the ad hoc committee, made a presentation to Parliament explaining why the committee had rejected Madonsela’s request that her report be referred to the Electoral Court.

In the presentation, he in effect accuses Madonsela of attempting to sideline IEC chair Pansy Tlakula.

Mdonsela’s investigation report, entitled Inappropriate Moves, accuses Tlakula of gross irregularities in the procurement of the IEC headquarters building.

Shortly after it was released, Tlakula, an advocate by profession, said that it was “flawed”.

In light of her comments, Madonsela then requested National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu to intervene and to refer the matter to the court.

Instead, Sisulu appointed an ad hoc committee to investigate.

In response to questions posed by Landers, Madonsela said it was “never my intention to have the report tabled in Parliament”.

Landers described this approach as “terribly contradictory”.

He said: “You can’t [ask the speaker to intervene] and then try to hide the report.”

He told City Press: “Everybody involved was somewhat confused and mystified over what her

[Madonsela’s] intention was.”

The presentation by Landers also seems to suggest that Madonsela had attempted to sideline Tlakula.

“It must be noted that the intention of the Public Protector was for the speaker to meet with the IEC, to the exclusion of the chairperson of the IEC and consider whether action should be taken against Advocate Tlakula for her role in the procurement of [new] offices,” states the presentation.

Oupa Segalwe, Madonsela’s spokesperson, did not answer his phone yesterday, but has previously told journalists that the Public

Protector would wait until she had heard from Sisulu before deciding what to do.

Madonsela also expressed the opinion that an ad hoc committee should not have been appointed.

Asked if Madonsela still had the confidence of the justice portfolio committee, Landers said that the Public Protector was doing excellent work, but there was “concern” about the fact that “she won’t accept the role and function [of the National Assembly]”.

He added: “She insists we cannot hold her accountable.”

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