Not in public interest to leak letter - Madonsela

Pretoria - It was not in the public interest to leak to the media her letter to President Jacob Zuma, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Thursday.

"Both the leaking and the publishing [of the letter] were improper," Madonsela told reporters in Pretoria.

This action was against public interest because it added to a "climate of mistrust", she said.

In the past, her office had never had "any drama" or lack of co-operation from the president's office.

"Had the letter not been leaked, the president would have graciously considered my letter, as he has always done," said Madonsela.

She would ask for a meeting with Zuma's office to "enable the way forward".

She had been informed that a senior politician had leaked the letter to the media.

"The leaking and publishing of confidential information... is a problem," she said.

But when it was a senior politician, "this is an even bigger problem", she said.

Madonsela said there was "hysteria" after her Nkandla letter to President Jacob Zuma was leaked. This hysteria was "symptomatic of more underlying problems", she said.

Madonsela said she was "particularly concerned over statements attributed to officials outside government".

She said the public protector was an independent constitutional institution established to support and strengthen constitutional democracy.

Madonsela reportedly wrote to Zuma last week about the R246m spent on upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

In her letter she reportedly cautioned him that he was second-guessing her recommendations that he repay part of the money spent on features unrelated to security, such as a swimming pool, cattle kraal, amphitheatre, and visitors' centre.

In his reply to Madonsela's report on Nkandla, Zuma indicated that Police Minister Nathi Nhleko should determine if he should repay any of the money.

Since then, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has publicly criticised her and suggested she was working with Julius Malema's Economic Freedom Fighters.

Nndweleni Sigonde 2014/08/28 05:19:36 PM
I respected Thuli madonsela's office and the way she stands her ground but can you please spare us the confusion Thuli,who is the senior Anc official who leaks a letter?
Lolo Koena 2014/08/28 05:21:34 PM
Lukas Ekisjouvaader 2014/08/28 05:22:58 PM
We know for sure it's not Gwede. Operating a photocopier is far above his capabilities.
Waine Smith 2014/08/28 07:21:56 PM
What has the leaking got to do with the crux of the matter? The leaking was wrong, but why can the president not respond and finalise this matter that the EFF are feeding off to their political advantage...
Pieter Pretorius 2014/08/29 07:28:32 AM
The hysteria was so big Zero fled to Russia