Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says new Public Protector B. Mkhwebane has every right to decide whether to stand against President Zuma’s application for an interdict against the release of the state capture or not.
Madonsela was speaking in reaction to the new PP’s earlier announcement that she will not oppose President Zuma’s interdict against the release of the controversial report.
She maintained in the court papers filed last week that she was not in a position to advocate that the report, which her predecessor had prepared and finalized, be released.
B. Mkhwebane also said she wouldn’t advocate for Zuma to be granted additional time to submit representations. So for her, everything lies in the hands of the judiciary.
Speaking further, former PP Madonsela opined that Mkhwebane has the right to do whatever she feels is right, reasonable and justifiable. She added that she would have probably taken the same decision if she’s in Mkhwebane’s position.
“I’m not surprised. I probably would have made the same decision if I was the new Public Protector,” Thuli told the crowd at the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ awards on Tuesday night.
She lamented that she has not been able to meet with Mkhwebane, and that the last meeting she fixed with her was postponed.
Thuli added that she would be excited to have a one-on-one meeting with the new Public Protector in order to pour out her mind on some important issues.
“I do think a verbal engagement is important beyond just the paperwork that has been given to her. It’s important to know where I was and why I was taking the direction I was taking, particularly in relation to cases,” she said.
In her first interview as PP, B. Mkhwebane emphasized that an investigation into the state capture will not be her priority – a statement that raised eyebrows and concerns that she has or might likely be captured soon.
On a few occasions, she had painted a picture that suggests she is not at peace with Madonsela’s report. In fact, it is understood that she disagrees with some parts of the report and how Madonsela had undertaken the investigation.
Meanwhile, economic experts believe South Africa could face the risk of junk status if Zuma fails to withdraw his application.