The African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General, Gwede Mantashe, announced on Tuesday that the ANC is very concerned by the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela’s behaviour.
Mantashe said, after the ANC’s national working committee (NWC) on Monday, “As a Chapter Nine institution, she had a responsibility to protect the integrity of the office of the public protector in discharging her responsibilities. This means that she should not undermine another arm of state that she deferred to, to further process a report that she compiled.”
Mantashe gave this response with regards to a letter which Madonsela wrote to president Jacob Zuma last week, regarding the still outstanding response to her report surrounding the president’s R246 million upgrades to his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.
The letter, in which the Public Protector told Zuma that he was undermining the authority of her office by indirectly refusing to issue her with a response, was leaked allegedly by a senior ANC official.
In her letter to the president, she explained that she disagrees with the method that Jacob Zuma has used to deal with the incident, whereby he chose to defer the responsibility of deciding whether or not he is responsible to the new Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko. “I am concerned about the decision you have made regarding the police minister, giving 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 in her letter.
Mantashe has questioned the timing of the Public Protector’s letter, stating that it was issued at the same time as the EFF’s standoff with the president last week. He has stated that he believes that there is a general effort made by the opposition parties to topple the support of the democratically elected majority, the ANC.
Mantashe also stated that Madonsela needs to give parliament due time in order to consider her report and act on her findings, which still need to be processed.