That wass the message Advocate Thuli Madonsela tried to convey to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services yesterday in Cape Town. Madonsela also tried to tell Committee Chairperson Dr Mathole Motshekga that the current allocation of R246 million was “woefully inadequate”.
However, Motshekga repeatedly interrupted the presentation to warn Madonsela they had limited time and at the end said it had been a pointless exercise as she had failed to set out how she would address weaknesses in financial management at her office.
The increasingly tense exchange was interrupted by the DA’s Werner Horn. “Chairperson, in terms of the rules of Parliament I think you are abusing your power. The Public Protector presented as she deemed fit.You are presenting at this stage a view of the committee which you have not consulted with the committee at all. With all due respect, I and I think a few of my colleagues, differ in that you accuse the Public Protector of not addressing issues raised last year while I specifically noted quite a number of changes effected already by the CEO and the CFO in addressing the issues raised not only by this committee but also by the AG,” said Horn. “I don’t think it is your purview now to take to task the Public Protector, you are to chair this meeting and to allow members to engage.”
DA Shadow Minister of Justice Glynnis Breytenbach said in a statement she would be calling a motion of no confidence in Motshekga. “Today’s sitting … was a disgrace due to the unnecessary levels of contempt shown for Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, by Committee Chairperson, Dr Mathole Motshekga, and his colleagues-coupled with indefensible personal attacks on the Public Protector,” Breytenbach said.
“Dr Motshekga further ignored all rules and conventions in order to paint the Public Protector as being unprepared and disorganised, despite the fact that her office had prepared a thorough presentation, and gave extensive feedback to members.”