As her tenure draws to an end, Madonsela Thuli is faced with more pressing issues left to be addressed. The recent of it all is to investigate the Democratic Alliance (DA) complaint against President Jacob Zuma for allegedly violating the Executive Members’ Ethics Act.
The office of the Public Protector (PP) says they are obliged to investigate the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) complaint against President Jacob Zuma for allegedly violating the Executive Members’ Ethics Act.
This statement was made after the PP’s office announced on Tuesday that they were considering seeking funding from Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to investigate Zuma’s association with the Gupta family.
Speaking on SAfm’s AM Live, Senior Manager of Communications at the Office of the Public Protector, Oupa Segalwe says the Public Protector is compelled by law to investigate any complaint filed under the Executive Member’s Ethics Act.
Last week, the Dominican Order of Catholic priests also approached Thuli Madonsela asking her to investigate the alleged involvement of the Gupta family in ministerial appointments.
Segalwe further added that the investigation is massive and they are yet to have enough investigators.
The DA earlier urged the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to grant the office of the Public Protector the necessary funds they would need to investigate the matter.
“It is imperative that the Public Protector’s investigation, called for by the DA after numerous revelations over the last few days linking members of the Gupta family to political influence, is carried out impartially and is properly funded,” the DA’s Glynnis Breytenbach said in a statement.
Reiterating the end of Thuli’s tenure, Breytenbach said government will be seen to not be complying with its mandate of safeguarding the independence and investigative capacity of the Public Protector and other Chapter 9 institutions if PP fails to investigate before then. Breytenbach said:
“In the mounting instances of ‘state capture’ it is critical that our institutions in defense of democracy are themselves protected from government’s persistent attacks- financially and otherwise.”
“We will not allow that to happen. The Public Protector must be appropriately resourced to be able to investigate every instance of corruption reported to her office. There is already a backlog of 260 cases – the Gupta family investigation cannot be added to this list.”
However, the DA has said that Zuma’s decision to meet with the Gupta family shows that he isn’t serious about fighting corruption.
The party said the ANC and President Zuma has proven they are both determined to help facilitate state capture by a wealthy, connected few at the expense of 8.2 million jobless South Africans.
According to the party, if the ANC was serious about fighting corruption, they would’ve recalled Zuma this past weekend and urged the Public Protector to step in.
“The fact that they are once again visiting Saxonwold so soon after South Africa’s faith in our government’s ability to fight corruption was shaken to the core highlights the complete disconnect between the ANC and the people. They are morally bankrupt; determined to protect – not fight – corruption and state capture, by the wealthy and politically connected few” They said.
As already foretasted, among 260 outstanding cases yet to be investigated by the PP before Thuli’s departure, the investigation into the alleged links between President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family could be the last challenge she could have as the Public protector.