#StateCaptureReport: Madonsela asked Zuma for 'honest answers from the heart'

2016-11-02 19:43
Advocate Thuli Madonsela (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

Advocate Thuli Madonsela (Deaan Vivier, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – All former public protector Thuli Madonsela wanted from President Jacob Zuma was “honest answers from his heart”.

But all she got were requests for more time as the president needed to go through the questions.

In the transcript of a conversation between Zuma, Madonsela and advisor in the presidency Michael Hulley, the former public protector tried to grill the president on his relationship with the controversial Gupta family.

But Zuma said while he was willing to answer the questions, he wanted legal advice first.

“It is not a simple matter. I would be fair if I know ... if people have said things about me. There are many things that people say about me in the majority of times that I have never done and never said, not only in matters of this nature, even politically people say many things about me. I have done things in the past where some legal people have challenged to give them proper thought ... what is the word, ‘Was there rationale in what you did?’


“From that point of view I would really request that you give me some time to look and get the advice from my legal people as well, and look and read,” Zuma said in the conversation.

He argues that while the answers might be simple if he was speaking to the media or someone else, a conversation with the public protector was a different thing altogether.

“No but Public Protector, as I said the issue of the Guptas, the capture, State, etcetera, is a big issue in the country. It is not a small matter. If I don’t apply my mind, I can think the answer is very simple and it might not be very simple. If it was just a matter, any other matter, I would say no, perhaps it is an easy matter.”

But Madonsela was not swayed and wanted to know what difference it would make if he answered the questions on that day or any other day.

“If we are starting with, for example, why did you remove [former Finance] Minister [Nhlanhla] Nene, why do you need somebody to legally advise you, because that is a decision you took yourself without legal advice? You took that decision, exercising your power as an Executive.

“Yes. No, but it is a decision you have already taken, so you don’t need to be advised why you took it, because it is a decision ... somebody advised you, you accepted their advice, you have already executed it, sir. So now you just have to tell us why did you take that decision? Now why do you need a lawyer to be able to tell me why you removed any of those ministers?”

She told Zuma that they did not give questions in advance.

“Because we want honest answers that are coming from your heart, not prepared answers.”


Read more on:    public protector  |  jacob zuma  |  thuli madonsela  |  state capture report

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