Protector: Leaks coming from outside

2012-07-17 21:06

Durban - The office of the public protector has not been the source of leaked provisional reports, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Tuesday.

Madonsela, speaking after attending a debate in Durban on press freedom, said she believed the provisional reports had been leaked by those who had lodged complaints with her office.

Last year, a provisional report titled "Against the Rules Too", on police efforts to secure a controversial R1.1bn building lease, was leaked and published by the Sunday Times.

Her report on former local government minister Sicelo Shiceka’s alleged misuse of tax money was also leaked last year and published by Business Day.

Earlier this year, her provisional report into the Western Cape government’s R70m communications contract with TBWA Hunt Lascaris was also leaked and published by the Sunday Times and City Press.

"We believe it is the complainants. We don’t think government leaked it [the Western Cape report]," she said.

She urged media houses to act with integrity and ethically, saying there was no benefit to be gained from publishing the leaked provisional reports.

Those who had leaked or disseminated a provisional report were in breach of the law.

"We are considering technology so that the reports cannot be copied."

Provisional reports are sent to affected parties allowing them 14 days to respond before the final report is published and made public.