Sport and Recreation Minister Fikile Mbalula has praised outgoing Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela for leaving her mark as head of the chapter 9 institution, saying he previously had reservations about her at first, but he quickly remembered the rule of law.
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With just seven days left before Madonsela’s seven-year term ends, many prominent South Africans have been sending their farewell messages to her, with a special event held in her honour on Wednesday evening at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand, Johannesburg.
Referring to Madonsela’s probe last year into allegations of impropriety against Mbalula and his deputy Gert Oosthuizen, Mbalula said Madonsela passed a judgement of not guilty after a thorough investigation. Madonsela looked into the allegation that the two had taken international and domestic flights that were alleged to have cost taxpayers close to R2.7 million.
In a tweet, Mbalula emphasised his innocence that the flights were not undertaken improperly and outside of the mandate of his department.
The flamboyant minister also said he thought Madonsela’s imperfections were outweighed by her strengths, saying she kept government leaders on their toes.
Political leaders have described Madonsela as a fierce ambassador of the law and wished her well on her future endeavours. Gauteng Premier David Makhura thanked her for consistently holding the government of the day accountable, and ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe surprised many at the event, saying Madonsela saved the ruling party from itself.