The office of the Public Protector has rubbished widespread allegations that PP Busisiwe harbours ill feelings towards former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
In a statement released on Tuesday, Public Protector Busisiwe described the allegations as malicious and baseless.
She expressed disappointment with media houses in the country for pedalling and publishing unreliable stories about her relationship with her predecessor.
The Public Protector’s counter-statement follows a recent claim that she threatened to withdraw from the recent African Ombudsman and Mediators Association (AOMA) general assembly in Durban if Madonsela is invited.
“Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has noted with disappointment the allegations peddled in the media at the weekend. Mkhwebane rejects the claims as baseless and malicious,” the statement read.
— Public Protector SA (@PublicProtector) December 20, 2016
Busisiwe also denied claims that Madonsela abandoned the event because of her threats. She maintained that she had no idea why Thuli decided to send a representative instead of gracing the occasion herself.
It is understood that Madonsela was supposed to have been honoured at that event, but her trophy and certificate were received by the deputy public protector.
The Public Protector said she enjoys a professional relationship with her predecessor Thuli Madonsela and has never been in conflict with her.
“We reject the claim that Mkhwebane threatened to pull the plug on the general assembly if her predecessor was invited. The bottom line is that the general assembly went ahead and Advocate Madonsela did not attend it. The PP enjoys a professional relationship with her predecessor Thuli Madonsela,” the statement added.
PP Busisiwe claims might be true but her relationship with staff who worked with Madonsela speaks no good at all. In one of his emails, Madonsela’s former chief of staff, Dhlamini accused Mkhwebane of being “heartless”, “cruel” and “unreasonable”; of having “little regard for other human beings and their legitimate rights”; and of having treated employees in Madonsela’s office like “gardeners”.
Dhlamini also accused her of being obsessed with Madonsela. Reports also had that some senior employees in the office of the Public Protector testified that they knew Parliament would endorse Busisiwe even before she was given the job.
They claimed PP Busisiwe appointed her present chief of staff Risenga Maruma, long before she was given the job.