Public Protector denies wrongdoing

By Drum Digital
15 October 2012

Shai claims that Madonsela changed findings on a report into the DA-led Midvaal Municipality and deliberately withheld the report's release until after municipal elections

Accusations of misconduct levelled at Public Protector Thuli Madonsela were unfounded, her office said on Sunday.

Spokeswoman Kgalalelo Masibi said in a statement that claims made by Madonsela's deputy, Mamiki Shai, in a Sunday Times report were baseless.

had been held.

"It is not true that the Public Protector changed findings on the Midvaal report willy-nilly," Masibi said.

"The statement that the report was delayed until after the local government elections is misleading and malicious."

Rather, Madonsela viewed the draft report and decided a more in-depth investigation was needed. This led to the report being delayed.

"It was under the public protector's hand that a more thorough investigation was done and many allegations substantiated."

Madonsela had not acted against a senior official reportedly accused of fraud, because the person had been cleared of wrongdoing by the inspector-general of intelligence, she said.

The Sunday Times reported that Shai also claimed Madonsela sought to change good governance recommendations which had criticised her conduct.

Masibi said Madonsela was of the opinion that Parliament was already appraised of the committee's findings, and therefore all that was required of her was to respond to the matter.

"The public protector is not aware of any constructive criticism she was dismissive of."

In the newspaper report, Shai alleged that Madonsela took up cases beyond her jurisdiction, and hired external consultants to handle cases.

Masibi said: "It is not true that the Public Protector takes up cases that fall outside her remit".

"Should anyone know of a case the Public Protector took that is outside her jurisdiction, the PP eagerly awaits such information."

Some investigations were contracted out due to a heavy backlog at the end of 2011/2012, but the decision was taken through the executive committee and in consultation with the National Treasury, Masibi said.

"The Public Protector wishes to place on record the fact that all key decisions in the Public Protector SA are made through a memo system that originates from a relevant technical unit and goes through the chief financial officer, the CEO and the deputy Public Protector."

Madonsela welcomed Parliament's decision to assign the Justice Portfolio Committee to look into various allegations against her and her office in a series of anonymous letters.

She requested the probe in July.

On Saturday Madonsela found out "with much surprise" that Shai was one of the authors of the anonymous letters, Masibi said.

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