RECENTLY appointed Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has denied laying criminal charges against her predecessor Thuli Madonsela over the leak of recordings related to the report on state capture.
“It is not true that Adv. Mkhwebane laid charges against her predecessor. Instead, she opened a case at the Brooklyn Police Station in Pretoria, requesting an investigation into the alleged leaks to establish if they amount to a breach of section 7(2) of the Public Protector Act,” her office said in a statement released today.(Monday)
“The decision to open a case was informed by complaints from the Presidency and the Office of the Speaker of the National Assembly.”
In terms of section 7 (2) of the Public Protector Act, no one can disclose information, evidence or record of evidence unless the Public Protector directs otherwise.
Madonsela, who has admitted to leaking the audio conversation between herself and President Jacob Zuma, who was implicated in her “State of Capture” report, compiled the report. However, because of Zuma’s court action Zuma, the report was only released after Mkhwebane had taken over the reins from Madonsela.
Mkhwebane said she also received queries from another publication claiming to have recordings of Madonsela’s interview with former African National Congress (ANC) MP Vytjie Mentor.
According to the new public protector, she was concerned the leakages could seriously compromise the trust the public had in her office.
“In order to maintain the credibility of the Public Protector South Africa and for the people to trust the institution we need to safeguard whatever evidence such people, including whistle-blowers, give to us,” Mkhwebane is quoted as saying in the statement.