Extension not just - protector

2013-11-11 17:35
(Picture: City Press)

(Picture: City Press)

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Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is unwilling to leave her Nkandla report in the hands of government security departments for too long, her office said on Monday.

For this reason she declined their request for more than five days to study the document, her spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said in a statement.

"She was... concerned that leaving the report in the hands of the security cluster for an unduly extended period would prejudice... those that she has made provisional adverse findings against and those she has quoted as having provided her with evidence...."

The affected people had not yet received the provisional report.

"It would also not be in the public interest if the security cluster has exclusive possession of the report," said Segalwe.

Madonsela's provisional report on security improvements to President Jacob Zuma's residence at Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal, was given to the state security cluster on 1 November.

This followed a special request that it have access to the report ahead of all other parties, to establish if its contents would compromise Zuma's security.

The return date for comments was 6 November.

Urgent application

The cluster filed an urgent application on Friday to prevent Madonsela from releasing the report. The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria postponed the matter to the end of this week.

Madonsela had said the document was confidential, but it later emerged that the report had been shared with affected parties.

Madonsela's office said the government, in its court papers, was in effect asking for an extension beyond the 10 working days initially requested.

"The public protector will clarify in detail in court papers why she believes the security cluster's request is unlawful, unconstitutional and violates the independence of her office.

"The public protector would further like to put it on record, again, that it was not her who voluntarily decided to share the report in question with the concerned organs of state...

"It was, in fact, these organs of state that made a special request to the public protector, advancing the reasons that they wanted to ensure that the content does not compromise the security of the president."

Segalwe said Madonsela respected the court processes.

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

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