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Carien du Plessis
01 Apr 2016 00:00
Higher Education Transformation Network laid charges of perjury and fraud against Madonsela on April 14 2015, claiming she filed 'contradictory affidavits' in cases relating to her powers. (Paul Botes, M&G)
Public protector Thuli Madonsela said she would only celebrate the Constitutional Court judgment affirming her powers when the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had dropped their investigation into whether she had overstepped her powers by suggesting her reports were binding.
Madonsela was in good humour as she addressed a press conference at her offices in Pretoria, but raised some serious concerns.
“I would celebrate if the Hawks and the NPA could at least by tonight [Thursday] send me a report that says they have stopped investigating me,” she said.
She added that a “very senior team of the Hawks, which is supposed to investigate organised crime” was assigned to investigate the claims.
Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Malaudzi’s phone was turned off, but NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku reacted incredulously.
“What probe? We are not investigating the PP [public protector].
We are not aware of the investigation she alluded to during press briefing.”
The investigation is thought to stem from a complaint by the Higher Education Transformation Network, a nonprofit organisation.
It laid charges of perjury and fraud against Madonsela on April 14 last year, claiming she had filed “contradictory affidavits” in the high court in Pretoria and in the high court in Cape Town in cases relating to her powers.
The group called on the Hawks to investigate the matter, and on the General Council of the Bar to have her struck off the roll as an advocate.
Madonsela said it was a “historical day” for everyone in the country because the court confirmed the supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law.
She even offered some wise words to those in power, saying they should never surround themselves with praise singers – which could be interpreted as a subtle rebuke of Zuma, who at times seems to have received questionable counsel from his legal advisers.
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