State did not obstruct protector - report

2013-11-14 16:35
Thuli Madonsela  (Picture: Volksblad)

Thuli Madonsela (Picture: Volksblad)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The State did not obstruct Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's investigation into upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's residence at Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal, according to a court affidavit.

"The applicants [the security cluster of ministries] have no desire to dictate to the respondent [Madonsela] when and how to release the provisional report," the ministers of police, defence, state security, and public works said in an affidavit.

"The allegations that the respondent and her investigation team were obstructed and frustrated in performing her functions are not correct."

The affidavit was filed at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria and was released by Madonsela's office on Thursday.

Madonsela's draft report contains details about a R206m upgrade to Zuma's private homestead.

The report was given to the security cluster on 1 November following a special request for access ahead of all other parties to establish whether its contents would compromise Zuma's security.

In the court papers, the ministers said it was Madonsela who had made the suggestion and not them.

"It was the respondent who suggested that the security cluster be given an opportunity to view the provisional report in order to determine whether there are any security breaches that need to be omitted."

The cluster filed an urgent application on Friday to prevent Madonsela from releasing the report.

The State's application was set down to be heard by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

Opposing the interdict

On Wednesday, Madonsela made public her court documents opposing the interdict. In them, she said the State had made several attempts to stop her investigation.

The ministers denied this and said Madonsela was not an expert on state security.

"It will be argued at an appropriate time... that the respondent [Madonsela], not being an expert on matters of security, cannot be an arbiter on whether or not there exists a security breach from the contents of the provisional report," they said.

"I deny that the respondent or any of her investigators are security experts with the necessary experience to deal with the security concerns."

The ministers said they had no intention of interfering with the functioning of Madonsela's office or her independence.

"The only interest the applicants have in this matter is where security issues arise. We have a constitutional obligation to preserve national security, which ordinarily includes the security of the head of state.

"This cannot be interpreted to be interference with the office of the respondent."

The cluster said the national security issue was what their application was about.

"We are constitutionally mandated to protect national security and it is for this reason only that we requested additional time to provide the respondent with a comprehensive list of security breaches, together with the relevant justifications for their omission from her... report."

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

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.