Statement by Public Protector Adv.
Thuli Madonsela during a media briefing at Zebra Lodge near Cullinan on Wednesday, ecember !", #!$% e&uty Public Protector, Adv. 'evin Malunga C() Themba Mtheth*a and the +est of the Public Protector Team, Members of the media, The Peo&le of South Africa Thank you for coming on such short notice. The purpose of this briefing is two-fold: 1. To clarify some issues emerging from the statement made to the nation on Tuesday, November 3, !13 by the "ecretary #eneral of the $frican National %ongress &$N%' (r. #wede (antashe. $s we all know, the $N% is also the governing party in our democracy, what is says carries a lot of weight and therefore when there are distortions they need to be clarified. . To provide a status report of where we are with the Nkandla investigation, why are we at this stage we are in and to provide a road map on how the investigation will unfold going forward and the timelines for that process. )n this regard, ) re*uest you to recall the roadmap ) outlined on the ! th of November, upon which ) intend to elaborate. +efore ) proceed, kindly take note that the media briefing to release the ,ublic ,rotector -eports that was prescheduled to take place tomorrow is going ahead as planned. ) apologise for its postponement last week. )ncidentally, two of those reports have since been leaked. .ou will agree with me that there is nothing my office has benefitted from postponing the release of the reports and having them leaked to the media. )f anything, the leak is likely to undermine an informed dialogue on these reports and therefore their impact. .ou are aware that ) have since decided that full provisional reports will no longer be given to affected and interested parties, which was issued on (onday. ,lease read it and so that you may establish on your own what we said and what we didn/t say.
The first thing ) would like to address is what ) believe to be values that ) share with the "ecretary #eneral of the $N% as discerned from the statement he made to the nation yesterday. )t is true that: 1. ,rovisional reports should not be disseminated to the general public as they do not communicate my findings and final thoughts on remedial action. That is how our understanding has always been and that is how we operate. 0ntil about a week or two ago, the leaking of provisional report had disappeared from our landscape. ) had assumed this was because ) have always appealed to 1ournalists and editors not to publish provisional reports or documents purporting to be provisional reports from my office. . The affected and interested parties should be given an opportunity to address the ,ublic ,rotector on the findings before they are made available to the public even though this is not a right but a practice that is embraced by ombudsman offices across the world and is in line with section 2&3' of the ,ublic ,rotector $ct. 3. The ,ublic ,rotector has no role in politics. )t is not for the ,ublic ,rotector to advice or influence the e4ercise of the people of "outh $frica/s rights to choose political parties they would like to govern them. ) am certain that this is a right the people of "outh $frica are fully aware of and ) believe it is a right they would guard it 1ealously against any interference. ) have no intention or interest to interfere with this right and have never done so. 5. -eports should be issued as soon as they are finalised. This is something ) have pursued despite our limited resources. ) will get back to the issue later regarding the cause of the delay of the release of this particular report. )n his statement, the "ecretary #eneral appears to suggest that ) and my office have acted in violation of these values. To say ) am saddened by how he has applied these values and arrived at the conclusions he announced yesterday, is an understatement. $ closer look at his statement shows that he arrives at this conclusion purely based on incorrect information. $mong other things, it would appear that the "ecretary #eneral did not have the opportunity to be briefied by the "ecurity %luster about where the process is and why is it where it is.
1. -ncorrect statement 16 The 7eputy, who accompanied him to the media briefing, says ) said that my office leaked the draft report on security upgrades in the ,resident/s Nkandla residence to the (ail 8 #uardian.
The truth -The truth is the statement, they rely on, which is a statement ) released on (onday, November , !13 says e4actly the opposite. ,lease read the statement yourselves. . -ncorrect statement #6 ) now have a final report that ) have now decided to release around (arch ne4t year and that he suspects that ) am doing this for elections. 9e also said the provisional report has been shared in affected and implicated parties. The truth is ) have never shared a provisional report with affected and implicated report. ) shared a draft provisional report only with five security %luster ministers who were given electronic copies with passwords. They without talking to me decided to share the report with their departments. )n terms of the roadman ) announced on the ! th regarding engaging security cluster e4perts on alleged security concerns ) was only sent the names of the people that the ministers have nominated to engage with me last night after close of business. :e then wrote to the (inisters today re*uesting to engage with these e4perts on ;riday. (y team is committed to work with the roadmap, which process concludes this year with a provisional report. The provisional report will not be sent to parties. <ach party will be engaged on parites that concern them. :e have always maintained this understanding. 3. -ncorrect statement % 6 The ,ublic ,rotector is sitting with the report with the intension on releasing it in (arch ne4t year to influence politics. ) never said the report will be release in (arch ne4t year. ) said ) was trying to have the report released by the end of the year but the likelihood is that it will be released in =anuary !15. The statements that we have issued have consistently said the report will be released at the latest by mid =anuary. 5. -ncorrect statement " 6 That ) was responsible for the leak to the )ndependent (edia The truth is that the article itself said two senior officials had informed the author. The issue ) raised with the "unday Times is that it is wrong to leak all reports, not 1ust the last one. ) never endorsed any leaked reports. There are two versions of the leaked reports. The first was covered by the )ndependent claiming the provisional report absolves the president of wrong doing *uoting a source in government. The second is the version covered by the (ail and #uardian. The comment in the "unday Times was saying in my understanding there are two versions of the leaked report, why there was no outrage shown on the first coverage of the purported leaked report.
+oadma& :e have invited security e4perts> we will be talking to them on ;riday. ;rom now on, we will not be giving affected and interested parties provisional reports. :e will give affected parties snippets of potential adverse findings against them, giving them an opportunity to challenge them and provide evidence. :e will give the interested parties allegations that are not substantiated to give them a chance to challenge us and present further evidence. )n an investigation like this we look at that had the authority to act, did this person act in accordance with the authority? :e will re*uest a meeting with the $N%. $ "takeholder %onsultative 7ialogue meeting which had been scheduled with them was postponed. ) re*uest that my team and ) be allowed the space to e4ercise our constitutional power and responsibilities to handle this matter with integrity. @ur approach remains the same: :hat happened, what should have happened> is there a discrepancy and does it constitute maladministration. )f so, what is the remedy and who is the competent body to act? Aastly, thank you to the people of "outh $frica for the support> we have been getting messages through emails, ;acebook, Twitter, phone calls and so forth. Thank you