Madonsela rejects ANC's Nkandla report leak claims

Staff Reporter

The public protector has rebuffed claims by the ANC that her office leaked a provisional report on spending at President Jacob Zuma's home in Nkandla.

President Jacob Zuma's home in Nkandla. (Gallo)

Public protector Thuli Madonsela has rebuffed allegations by the ANC that her office leaked a provisional report on spending at President Jacob Zuma's homestead in Nkandla.

Madonsela lashed out on Wednesday at what she called distortions by the ruling party.

Madonsela was responding to the ANC's media briefing on Tuesday, where party secretary general Gwede Mantashe and deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte claimed the public protector's office had leaked the provisional report into the Nkandla upgrade to the Mail & Guardian.

"Mantashe said I said that I leaked the provisional Nkandla report. The truth is my statement that he relied on doesn't say that," Madonsela said.

She said she had only shown the report to the five minister in the security cluster and one judge, when the ministers sought to bring an interdict to prevent her from releasing the report, based on what they claimed were security concerns.

Tighter measures
Duarte told journalists at Luthuli House in Johannesburg on Tuesday that Madonsela had announced she would put in place tighter measures to prevent leaks of provisional reports from her office. Madonsela also said she would, in future, only give the report to affected parties.

Duarte pointed to Madonsela's statement as an admission by the public protector that the leak came from her office. But on Wednesday Madonsela rubbished Duarte's suggestions and appealed to the media to read the statement properly.

"All I know is that I did not leak the report. There is no benefit for me to leak it," Madonsela said.

In addition, Madonsela said an article in the Sunday Independent claimed to have seen the provisional report and quoted sources from within the security cluster.

"The article itself said two senior officials from the cluster of security ministers had informed the author I had cleared the president," Madonsela told reporters in Pretoria.

She explained there appeared to be two versions of the report circulating.

"What are the chances that I have two versions of the report? Five provisional reports were handed to the ministers [electronically] and one was given a password to share with others. It was also given to a judge on a confidential basis.

"The report was also handed to court. It was the ministers who said they had given the report to a team of experts," Madonsela said.

Madonsela said that if everything goes according to plan, the report would be finalised by the second week of January. – Additional reporting by Sapa

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