The latest attacks occurred during a parliamentary debate into the justice department and its funding on Tuesday, this after Madonsela had requested an additional R200m to supplement her office’s R240m budget.
First mention of Madonsela was made by the EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, who felt that properly funding offices like that of the Public Protector would strengthen and enhance both the law and our Constitution.
“The best thing you can do is to fund projects like Thuli Madonsela; to accept the independence of that institution and look out for its interests because it is about the promotion of the Constitution and the rule of law,” he said.
IFP MP Themba Msimang was likewise in defence of Madonsela’s budgetary request, saying: “one would expect that she would be given an enabling budget and all the necessary support by the department”.
Deputy Minister of Justice, John Jeffery, who has a history of altercations with Madonsela, led the first in a raft of comments against the Public Protector and her office.
To the floor Jeffery asked: “The Public Protector has continuously asked for more money and has been given more money. The question is: Is that being put to good use?” which was met with a resounding “Definitely!” by the assembled DA MPs.
Both the DA and the Congress of the People objected to the criticism being levelled at Madonsela, calling it “unparliamentary” as it ‘cast aspersions on an official whose appointment or dismissal was dependent on parliament’.
Bongani Bongo, another ANC MP, defended his party’s questioning of Madonsela. He feels the ANC are merely “asking relevant questions around issues that had been flagged by the Auditor-General”.
ANC veteran Loyiso Mpumlwana appeared to go a step too far, claiming Madonsela is “a law unto herself” and “shows no respect for parliament”, an assertion even ANC MPs appeared to be shocked by.
Following her parliamentary drubbing, on Tuesday, many have jumped to Madonsela’s defence online. SA National Defence Union’s National Secretary, Pikkie Greeff sent Madonsela Winston Churchill’s famous mantra:
In an admonishing statement one assumes is directed towards those attacking her in parliament, Madonsela herself tweeted: