Madonsela critic now wants her job

2016-07-08 17:36

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Johannesburg – ANC stalwart and MP Loyiso Mpumlwana, who has criticised Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on several occasions, is now on the candidates list to take over when her tenure ends in October.

He is one of the 59 candidates for the job, which Parliament's ad hoc committee named on June 28. Advocate Mpumlwana is an ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe veteran who was part of its Eastern Cape branch.

During a parliamentary debate into the justice department’s funding in 2005, Mpumlwana launched a scathing attack on Madonsela. He called her a law unto herself and said she showed no respect for Parliament.

His statement came as a shock, even to the ANC, News24 reported at the time.

Madonsela had asked at the time for R200m to supplement her office’s R240m budget.

In April, Mpumlwana said Madonsela did not know the extent of her powers. This was after the Constitutional Court’s ruling on March 31 that the powers of her office were binding.

The court ruled that President Jacob Zuma violated the Constitution when he failed to comply with Madonsela’s remedial action regarding the non-security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.

Mpumlwana headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Eastern Cape investigative unit, based in East London in the 1990s.

He was fired in 1997 after being charged with 10 counts of poor work performance. He was found guilty of eight, including holding down two paid jobs for the state.

This would haunt his career.

In 2009, Mpumlwana became the ANC's choice to become a Human Rights Commissioner. His appointment was approved by the National Assembly.

But before his name could be voted in, a Cope MP exposed his TRC record which led to an embarrassed ANC going into damage control.

The then-ANC chief whip, Mathole Motshekga, appealed to the National Assembly speaker to ask President Jacob Zuma to review his appointment. The ANC then asked for Parliament to investigate Mpumlwana.

Explaining its decision, the ANC said it felt that the allegations were of serious nature, "as they put into question his eligibility to serve on the Commission in line with the Constitution. The Constitution stipulates that a person must be fit and proper to be eligible to serve as a Commissioner", it said.

Speaking to News24, when asked for comment, he said the media was influencing the ad hoc committee tasked with finding a replacement for Madonsela. He denied ever criticising Madonsela.

"I never criticised the Public Protector... The idea of interviewing people regarding this is not morally correct. They [the committee] should be asking the questions, not you," he said.

- Comment on the Public Protector candidates can be sent to‚ for the attention of Mr Vhonani Ramaano, by Friday.


Read more on:    public protector  |  judiciary

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