2 minute read
5 Nov 2013
8:05 pm

I am independent – Madonsela

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has assured the public on Tuesday of her impartiality and independence.

FILE PICTURE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Michel Bega

“We conduct all of our investigations and, where appropriate, prepare reports without fear, favour or prejudice,” her office said in a statement.

“The Public Protector invited all persons interested in the Nkandla investigation to await the final report and read it carefully to determine whether her office keeps its commitment.”

African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday it was concerned by the manner in which Madonsela had handled the provisional report on Nkandla.

He said in a statement that while the ANC respected the office of the Public Protector and acknowledged its work, the confusion shown by Mandonsela as to where the report should go worked on the psyche of the public.

It did so in a way that negatively reflected upon President Jacob Zuma. Madonsela released the provisional report on the upgrade to Zuma’s Nkandla homestead to limited parties on Friday.

Her office said those within the security cluster, who were handed the report, had been granted an extension to submit comments by Friday. “This followed their request for more time, to go through the report,” her office said.

“The said organs of state earlier made a special request to have access to the report before it is shared with the rest of the parties, with a view to commenting on whether or not it compromises the security of the president.”

The rest of the parties, including respondents and complainants, would get the report as soon as possible thereafter.

“However, complainants and some of the respondents will only be invited [to] view the report at the Public Protector’s offices, in the presence of members of the investigation team due to security reasons,” her office said.

This would take place either in Pretoria or Cape Town. Her office reiterated that like all other provisional reports the Public Protector issued, the report was confidential.

“She will only be in a position to release the report to the public after having received comments from all parties, considered them and, to an extent possible, integrated them into the report.”

Nkandla has been at the centre of controversy after it emerged that the public works department had approved upgrades to the homestead costing R206 million.

When questions were raised about these upgrades, a task team of the public works department was set up. It later found irregularities in the procurement process for the upgrade.