With a month ahead to clear up her desk as South Africa’s Public Protector; Thuli Madonsela has launched another probe into President Jacob Zuma.
This time, her investigation has got nothing to do with Nkandla; but the latest probe centers on why Zuma allegedly allowed the Gupta family to influence his appointment of cabinet ministers and heads of state-owned entities.
This comes after the office of the Public Protector, in March this year, received complaints from the Catholic Dominican Order and the DA on why “non-state actors” influenced the dismissal; and appointment of ministers and implemented undue influence on government processes for the benefit of [a private] company.
Thuli Interviews Top Government Officials
In a bid to strengthen her case and validate whatever charges would be laid against Zuma; Madonsela has moved to interview no fewer than 23 senior officials and Zuma’s cabinet members; among them seven ministers, a deputy minister, and a former MP.
The outgoing Public Protector has sent out interview invitations to Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane; Co-operative Governance Minister David van Rooyen; Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba; Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, as well as Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.
She has however, interviewed the following top officials deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas; former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene; former cabinet spokesman Themba Maseko; former minister of public enterprises Barbara Hogan; and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor.
Also, embattled Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, has been interviewed; he was also requested to produce any evidence that shows the Indian-South African business family influenced the appointment of other cabinet members.
Meanwhile, reliable sources from her office said Mdonsela could likely publish a preliminary report on the investigation before she waves her office goodbye on October 15.
On the other hand, Madonsela disclosed that her investigation into Zuma extends to whether he defiled the executive ethics code by allegedly giving the business family room for their influences.
This is South Africa’s Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s third and last probe on Zuma. The first was conducted in 2010 – when she found Zuma guilty for missing the deadline to declare his financial interests to parliament.
The second came in 2014 – she also found Zuma guilty of unduely benefitting from his Nkandla homestead upgrades.