‘I don’t hate Thuli’ – Public Protector Mkhwebane on spat with predecessor
TMG Digital | 2017-02-06 08:35:03.0
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said that she doesn’t hate her predecessor. File photo.
Image by: MOELETSI MABE
“I don’t hate her‚” Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said on Monday of the war or words between her and predecessor‚ Thuli Madonsela.
“From my side‚ I am cordial‚ I don’t have anything against my predecessor‚” Mkhwebane said when asked by Radio 702 about the media spat that erupted last week after she addressed journalists on her first 100 days in office
Madonsela was incensed by reports quoting Mkhwebane as saying the two had a “cordial relationship”.
“I’ve noted the false news about the car and advocate Mkhwebane and I supposedly working together. I’ve maintained silence because I believe that’s a proper thing to do but it’s not true that I still have to pay the money for the car or that I abused any car‚” Madonsela told The Citizen last week.
Madonsela denied owing almost R500 000 to the state after her son crashed her state-provided BMW years ago‚ after driving it without her permission‚ and suggested she was being punished for her State of Capture report‚ which fingered President Jacob Zuma.
Mkhwebane said the docking of Madonsela’s gratuity after her term ended in October last year was not her business: “I won’t comment too much on that…because that is not part of what I have been doing as a public protector.”
Instead‚ she said‚ “the docking of the money” was a matter regarding “the CEO‚ the accounting officer who must account on that issue‚ the CEO who referred the matter to the state attorney for advice”.
Mkhwebane said she had respect for Madonsela and “gave credit for her good work”. On Sunday‚ Zuma‚ through the office of the Presidency‚ said he was “outraged” Madonsela had claimed that she was being “targeted” by him.
Zuma said Madonsela should refrain from such conduct as he does not play any role when it comes to the salary and conditions of service of the public protector as they were determined by Parliament.
Madonsela‚ who is on a year-long study in the US‚ said on Sunday that while she apologised to Zuma‚ she viewed the accusations against her seriously. The least he could do‚ she said‚ was to explain her suspicions for his role in Mkhwebane’s appointment.
“The matter is not about the Presidency. The matter is about Mr Zuma as a person. I do note the anger. I think… Zuma could allow a process to test‚ and go into how the public protector was appointed. I do have a suspicion about how the public protector was appointed‚” she said.
On Monday‚ she appeared to have put the matter behind her‚ tweeting: “new week is an opportunity for a new chapter in our lives. We have a choice to be stuck in the last chapter or move on to higher ground.”
A new week is an opportunity for a new chapter in our lives. We have a choice to be stuck in the last chapter or move on to higher ground
— Adv Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) February 6, 2017