Zuma to Madonsela: sit down and stop attacking me

President Jacob Zuma has told former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that she has been relieved of her duties, and no longer has any role to play in her state capture report.

In a statement issued on Friday, the president said he was concerned about Madonsela’s “unwarranted attacks” directed at him, saying that her comments are unbecoming and unhelpful.

He was referring to statements made by Madonsela over the past few weeks, where she made not-so-veiled statements about the president, including the ‘leaking’ of a 4-hour audio recording of her speaking to the president in an attempt to gain his side of the state capture story.

Zuma said that the leak was concerning, given that only one recording – the recording with him – was made public, when Madonsela had spoke to several witnesses.

“This conduct has serious implications with regards to ethics, confidentiality and the protection of information gathered during investigations by the Office of the Public Protector,” Zuma said.

However, Madonsela has maintained that, as the Public Protector in charge of the report, it was her prerogative and legal right to make the recording public – and that it shouldn’t have been as issue as the full transcript was already public in the report.

She said that she specifically published the president’s interview because he was the one who claimed that he was not afforded the opportunity to answer questions from her – which was just not true.

The presidency, however, is adamant that Madonsela should now take a seat on the matter, and let the process she put in motion play out.

“Adv Madonsela has discharged her duties as the Public Protector and has no further role to play in the process regarding the said Report,” the president said.

“The President urges all parties to act as guided by the Constitution and respect the processes that are unfolding in respect of the Report.”

Notably, the president and the ANC are likely to challenge the report and take it on review, as they are not happy that Madonsela ordered that the judicial commission of enquiry be set up by chief justice Moegoeng Moegoeng.

According to the party, Madonsela should have just ordered that the commission be set up – not who should be setting it up.

Read: Investigate Thuli Madonsela: ANC

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Zuma to Madonsela: sit down and stop attacking me