Madonsela to tighten rules on reports

2013-12-02 11:27
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela plans to restrict the way in which provisional reports are circulated, after a number of reports were leaked to the media.

Business Day reported on Monday that Madonsela believed the leaks had compromised the integrity of her office, and she plans to come up with a plan to ensure that the viewing of provisional reports is tightened up.

This comes after the key findings of her provisional report into the security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal were published by the Mail & Guardian last Friday. The Sunday Times published parts of her report into a R800m fisheries patrol contract on Sunday, while City Press published part of her report into former communications minister Dina Pule last week.

The SACP over the weekend called for an investigation into how the provisional Nkandla report was leaked under Madonsela's watch.

Courtesy

Madonsela told Business Day the leaking of provisional reports means she is forced to defend her findings, while those affected were using the findings for their own ends.

According to the newspaper, the office of the public protector is not legally obliged to offer affected parties a copy of the provisional report, and does this as a courtesy.

Currently, affected parties are given a copy of a provisional report and given about 10 days to make comments. However, leaks have occurred and affected parties have in certain cases launched legal action to challenge the findings.

Madonsela said she was considering reverting back to the previous system where she would write to affected parties to inform them of the findings before releasing her report. She is also considering allowing affected parties to view the interim report at her office, but not remove it or make copies of it.

Madonsela added that while the publication of leaked reports was unlawful and unethical, it was unlikely her office would take legal action against the newspapers who published the key findings of these reports, according to Business Day.

Read more on:    public protector  |  sacp  |  thuli madonsela  |  corruption  |  nkandla upgrade

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