Madonsela must do her job, behave - ANC

Johannesburg - The ANC does not want to see Public Protector Thuli Madonsela vacate her office before the end of her term but she must do her job correctly, party secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday.

"We don't want to remove the public protector, we want the public protector to do her work correctly and behave correctly," Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.

"We have no interest in removing her. She must finish her term but she must not abuse that term."

Mantashe said there was a sense that Madonsela was abusing her office and was always trying to get the attention of the media by saying things that were not in any report or being investigated anywhere.

"That is what we are talking about. That is why we are not attacking the public protector or her office but we are attacking the behaviour that is wrong," he said.

Mantashe then turned his attention to the leaking to the media of Madonsela's reports. He said the leaks could not be attributed to divisions within the ANC.

The statement follows Madonsela's claim that a letter she had written to President Jacob Zuma was leaked by a senior ANC official to the media.

Madonsela reportedly wrote to Zuma last week about the spending of R246m on security upgrades at his Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

In her letter, she cautioned Zuma he was second-guessing her recommendations that he should 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 her report on Nkandla, Zuma indicated Police Minister Nathi Nhleko needed to determine if he should pay back any of the R246m.

Madonsela wrote in her letter: "I am concerned that the decision you have made regarding the police minister gives him power he does not have under law, which is to review my decision taken in pursuit of the powers of administrative scrutiny I am given... by the Constitution."

Madonsela said on Monday that she had reason to believe a senior ANC official leaked her letter to the media.

Mantashe countered: "The office of the public protector leaks every report she writes and blames that on the divisions within the ANC."

Leaking to the media

Mantashe said it had become the norm that all public protector reports would be leaked to the media before she had even released them.

"I know that every report she has been involved in... I'm going to read about it in the newspaper before it is released.

"That can never be because of divisions in the ANC. We deal with our own divisions but the public protector's office must be watertight. You can't leak information and blame the ANC divisions," he said.

Mantashe and his deputy Jesse Duarte continued hammering the issue of leaks and Duarte questioned the manner in which the explanations for the leaks were given, but individuals not named.

"Each leak is glibly explained away. Who is that senior official who leaked the letter? There is nothing unfortunate about the leaks, they are timed and deliberate," Duarte said.

Duarte and Mantashe questioned the timing of the leaking of the letter and the heckling of Zuma in Parliament by members of the Economic Freedom Fighters, after the EFF asked when Zuma would pay back the Nkandla money. Proceedings had to be stopped for the day and riot police were called in.

"A leak at the same time when the EFF undermines the people of SA is too much of a coincidence," said Duarte.

Mantashe called on Madonsela not to get involved in politics and to stop behaving like a political institution.

He said the public protector should get out of the political space and leave political parties to sort themselves out.

On the defensive

Madonsela then took to twitter to defend herself against the barrage of attacks by the pair. She stood her ground and questioned how accountability was weakening democracy.

"Can someone please say how exactly is the deepening of accountability a weakening of parliamentary democracy... Let's face th truth. What's embarrassing the country is attempts to subvert the rule of law & not administrative scrutiny [sic]," she said.

Madonsela said if everyone respected the Constitution and the law, there would be no crisis in the country.

She said politicians should stop interfering with her work.

"Administrative scrutiny is a reality if our constitutional democracy. It's not a political exercise & Politicians should stop interfering [sic]," she tweeted.

Madonsela said the country was in trouble when politicians meddled in the investigation processes, leaked documents then cried foul.

The EFF on Tuesday denied any link to the leaking of the letter and their heckling of Zuma.

Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the ANC was trying to detract attention from the Nkandla issue.

"The ANC has lost the public relations war and now they have to concoct a story to defer the issue that is on the table, which is Nkandla," he said.

Ndlozi accused Zuma of being the one who leaked the document to the media.

"If there is anyone with a history of leaking information it is Jacob Zuma to distract the public's attention as we saw with the Mzilikazi [waAfrika] story," he said.

In his book, waAfrika claims that Zuma leaked information about Bulelani Ngcuka being a former apartheid spy.

Ndlozi called on the ANC to stop attacking Madonsela's office.

"We condemn in the strongest way the continuing intimidation and war that has been declared on the public protector," he said.

George Wood 2014/08/26 09:14:12 PM
Dear ANC, she is doing her job and we the public love her, and she ain't gonna stop until every last corrupt, thieving, lying, cheating one of you is brought to Justice! You Go Thuli, take the trash out girl!!
proudlysa 2014/08/26 09:14:47 PM
Zuma and his cronies must behave...then the whole of SA won't pin their hopes one one women to save us from a corrupt government
Auspicious Ndaba Sekoloni 2014/08/26 09:14:58 PM
Is mantashe on nyaope or somethng
Jean Steyn 2014/08/26 09:16:08 PM
So now you're threatening her because she's doing her job? Shame on you ANC. You have become such an embarrassment to this country.
Richard Young 2014/08/26 09:17:20 PM
I have a feeling that if ANC was to remove Thuli from office then SA will see a revolt. Perhaps the only good thing ANC has ever done was put Thuli in office. Thuli is the only person within the ANC who shares the views and the same desire for the country as the rest of SA does. Thuli is the only member of the ANC with the balls to challenge Zuma and not keep quiet like the other ANC sheep and protect Zuma. It's for this reason that Thuli is the ideal candidate for the position of PP and under no circumstances should she be removed.
Sipho S'khumbuzo Radebe 2014/08/26 09:18:00 PM
Why isn't anyone asking how do these confidential info get to the media?
Henno 2014/08/26 09:18:19 PM
Come on, I dare you! Fire her ... have you ever seen a white person burning stuff? You will have hell to pay on Earth if you fire her, she is more of a leader than Zuma or his party will ever be! I dare you ... bring it ... you have not felt the fury which is burning inside of us
Johan van Papendorp 2014/08/26 09:18:24 PM
I dont know soccer but this "leak", shouldn't it be more accurately called an "ANC own goal"?
Robert Robinson 2014/08/26 09:19:02 PM
And no body is abusing their terms right what else do you want us to listen to next
Edward Radingoana 2014/08/26 09:19:42 PM
If Madonsela 's term could come to an end before the finalization of the Nkandla and Motsoeneng scandals, they would never be finalized because 62% will deploy a another comrade if not Pallo Jordaan to be the Public Protector