Conflict comes back to haunt former deputy public protector

Parliament. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
Parliament. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Cape Town - A former deputy public protector contending for Thuli Madonsela’s position was on Thursday confronted with a history of conflict between herself and her superiors.

Committee member Glynnis Breytenbach told Mamiki Goodman (nee Shei), that she had a history of confrontation, once accused Madonsela of being biased and had also accused former public protector Lawrence Mushwana of sexual harassment.

Breytenbach said these claims were found to be baseless and wondered how she would take over the office “without causing absolute mayhem”.

Goodman replied that conflict was sometimes necessary. “I don’t foresee mayhem. I just raise wrongs.”

She held the deputy public protector position from 2005 to 2012.

Irresponsible behaviour

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Economic Freedom Fighters’ Floyd Shivambu accused her of irresponsible behaviour.

“You cannot drag the institution of the Public Protector in the mud. It leads to the public losing confidence.”

Goodman said she never accused Mushwana of sexual harassment and said the media had blown things out of proportion.

“There was never an investigation for sexual harassment. There was never a finding around that. Parliament has never found me wrong on what I have raised.”

She reported having a good relationship with Madonsela and Mushwana.

It emerged during questioning that Goodman was currently on suspension as a chief compliance officer at the National Gambling board. This was not listed in her questionnaire.

“We had an altercation during a meeting with my boss. Immediately after nomination, I received a letter saying that I have said my boss was biased. I apologised and we tried to resolve the matter,” explained Goodman.

She said she thought the matter was over.

In her eyes, she played a great part in reconstructing the "dysfunctional" board.

"Since I took over, I got only 100% achievement on my targets."

Another issue raised by the committee was her short tenure at 11 of the jobs she had held since 1986.

Goodman implored members to understand her for who she really was, not what the media portrayed.

“I am a peacemaker. I don’t cause problems.”

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