Saturday, December 10, 2011

I am not interfering: Madonsela

I am not interfering: Madonsela
2011-12-10 22:39

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Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela denied claims by the ANC in Parliament that she was interfering in the processes of the National Assembly, according to a newspaper report on Saturday.

Madonsela told the Citizen that ANC chief-whip Mathole Motshekga had it wrong in accusing her of interfering in the work of the legislature.

"I am not interfering, I am just doing my job, This is a huge misunderstanding and I hope we can sort this out," she was quoted as saying.

In a bid to prevent relations from worsening between her and the ANC in Parliament, Madonsela said she was prepared to meet with Motshekga to sort out matters, the report said.

She had recently written to the speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu, over her concerns with the controversial protection of information bill.

She expressed worry on why the public interest defence clause in the final draft of the bill had been left out.

The ANC charged that Madonsela should back off from legislative processes, saying she was "questioning and threatening to investigate the institution's legislative decisions".

Serious reservations

"Writing to the speaker expressing concern on the legislative process or decision is bizarre," said Mothsekga.

Madonsela on Friday refuted claims that she had threatened to investigate the protection of state information bill.

However, she confirmed that she had serious reservations about the draft law that critics across the political spectrum have vowed to challenge in the Constitutional Court, if passed in its current form.

In her letter sent to Sisulu last month, Madonsela stated that she had received numerous requests to probe the draft law, but did not believe it was within the mandate of her office to do so.

She could not see what harm such a defence would do, and believed that "the courts would, as customary elsewhere in the world, deal with this defence with circumspection".

The ANC insists that the inclusion of such a clause would undermine the whole bill, and that furthermore, it went against international best practice. This point is strongly disputed by legal experts.

Madonsela added that she was concerned that if it became law, the bill would hinder the work of her office.


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