Mkhwebane ‘saddened’ by ‘untrue’ Madonsela report

New Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Supplied

New Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Supplied

The public protector says a Sunday paper misinterpreted the meaning of opening ‘a police case’ to investigate her predecessor.

“It is not true that Adv. Mkhwebane laid charges against her predecessor,” according to a statement released by Office of the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.

Mkhwebane says she was “saddened” by a report in the Sunday Times that she had laid charges against her predecessor, Thuli Madonsela. This after Madonsela leaked the audio recordings between her and President Jacob Zuma from her interview with the president for the State of Capture report.

The president had claimed that Madonsela had not given him a chance to respond on the allegations against him in the report. She said she released the recordings to categorically show that was not the case.

The public protector insists she had not laid any charges against her predecessor. Instead, “she opened a case at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria, requesting an investigation into the alleged leaks to establish if they amount to a breach of section 7(2) of the Public Protector Act”.

“It is not true that Adv. Mkhwebane laid charges against her predecessor.

“The decision to open a case was informed by complaints from the Presidency and the Office of the Speaker of the National Assembly.

“Adv. Mkhwebane is concerned that these alleged leakages of evidence could compromise the trust that the public has in her office. It is this concern that led to her opening a case for investigation.

“In order to maintain the credibility of the Public Protector South Africa and for the people to trust the institution, we need to safeguard whatever evidence such people, including whistle-blowers, give to us,” her office said.

“Adv. Mkhwebane wishes to point out that only the above information was shared with a Sunday Times journalist during an interview in Durban on Saturday, 26 November 2016. It is not clear how the newspaper interpreted the information in [the] manner it did.”

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