Madonsela dismisses ‘mischievous’ bias claims

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has dismissed accusations of bias, reportedly made against her by her deputy, Mamiki Shai.

Madonsela was reacting to a Sunday Times report on claims, attributed to Shai, that she had changed the findings of a report into the DA-led Midvaal Municipality, and had deliberately withheld its release until after municipal elections.

“For one to say I sat on that report to ensure that the DA wins in Midvaal is really mischievous, but it must be tested. We work through a memo system in our offices, which indicates when a report was handed to me,” she said.

“Reports are not thrown at you as you walk through the door. I think people should read the (Midvaal) report and then ask whoever is accusing me what was in that report that I removed which makes the final report unjust.”

She said she wanted the ANC in Midvaal to be part of the investigation into the allegations of her bias.

The public protector said she stood by all her findings as they were credible.

“I have never made a decision that I cannot justify, or that can’t be justified by the report itself. I challenge you as journalists to read the reports, especially the one on Midvaal, which has the most absurd of allegations,” she said.

Madonsela welcomed Parliament’s decision to assign the justice portfolio committee to look into various allegations – made in a series of anonymous letters – against her and her office.

She had requested the probe in July.

Madonsela also rejected claims, attributed to Shai in the newspaper report, suggesting that the public protector was taking up issues beyond her jurisdiction.

SAPA

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