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02 Dec 2013 15:15
The ANCYL says that the way Thuli Madonsela had handled the investigation into Nkandla compromised the outcome. (Lisa Skinner)
The ANC Youth League on Monday accused public protector Thuli Madonsela of leaking reports to the media.
"Her modus operandi must be investigated by relevant law enforcement agencies, since she is not above the law," said youth league spokesperson Bandile Masuku.
He said the way Madonsela had handled the investigation into Nkandla compromised the outcome.
"It is not enough for her to distance herself from the leaked reports without taking any appropriate action against the media houses that continue to be the source of leaks."
The Mail & Guardian reported on Friday that a leaked provisional report by Madonsela revealed Zuma had received substantial personal benefits from the multimillion-rand upgrade to Nkandla.
While the government had stated that the upgrades were essential for Zuma's security, the newspaper reported that the upgrade was found by Madonsela to include a swimming pool, visitors' centre, amphitheatre, cattle kraal, marquee area, extensive paving, and new houses for relatives.
Madonsela's spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi said on Friday it was unethical and unlawful to publish the public protector's provisional reports.
"It violates section 7 of the Public Protector Act 23, 1994," she said in a statement.
"As a rule, we do not comment on whatever purports to be a provisional report of the public protector, as those are not reports of the public protector."
Masuku said Madonsela had compromised the office of the public protector.
"We, therefore, call for decisive action against her conduct, which leaves much to be desired," he said.
He said the youth league wanted the outcome of the joint standing committee on intelligence committee (JSCI) to be implemented, particularly further investigation by the auditor general, the Special Investigating Unit and the police.
"We insist that recommendations of the JSCI were sufficient in dealing with corruption and any act of criminality that may have been found, mainly pointing to contractors that inflated prices for the security upgrade of Nkandla."
The JSCI found, among other things, no evidence that the public works department paid for the construction of Zuma's private houses.
Madonsela moves to plug report leaks
Meanwhile, Madonsela on Monday moved to stop the leaking of provisional investigation reports to the media.
In a statement announcing new countermeasures, she said the leaks were not coming from her office, but from "affected and implicated" parties who were sent copies of her provisional reports.
"We work with sensitive information for months without any leakages. It cannot be a coincidence that the so-called leaks only occur after the reports leave our offices into the hands of parties."
Madonsela said new measures would now be put in place "aimed at mitigating opportunities for report leakages".
In terms of these, affected and implicated parties would no longer get full provisional reports.
"Instead, they will be furnished with information or parts of the report that relate to them for purposes of soliciting their comments."
It was hoped this would "stem the trend of purported leakages, which puts the integrity of investigations in jeopardy, while also prejudicing the people whose names are mentioned in the reports".
Madonsela repeated her warning that – in terms of the Public Protector Act – publishing provisional reports was both unethical and unlawful. – Sapa
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