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South Africa's ex anti-corruption czar fires back at presidency over 'attacks on Zuma'

South Africa's ex anti-corruption czar fires back at presidency over 'attacks on Zuma'

South Africa

Thuli Madonsela, a former anti-corruption chief in South Africa has responded to claims by the Presidency accusing her of ‘unwarranted public attacks’ on President Jacob Zuma in relation to the report titled ‘State of Capture.’

The Presidency on Friday said in a statement that it was worried about Madonsela’s public statements. ‘‘Adv Madonsela has discharged her duties as the Public Protector and has no further role to play in the process regarding the said Report.

‘‘Her unwarranted public attacks on the President, as happened in Stellenbosch on Thursday, are unbecoming and are not helpful. It would be prudent therefore, for the former Public Protector to step back and allow legal and constitutional processes to unfold unhindered,’‘ a government statement said.

Her unwarranted public attacks on the President, as happened in Stellenbosch on Thursday, are unbecoming and are not helpful. It would be prudent therefore, for the former Public Protector to step back and allow legal and constitutional processes to unfold unhindered.

But Madonsela responded to the Presidency with a tweet on her official handle. According to her, rules should be applicable across board. ‘‘If we make rules and require others to play by such rules we must be first to obey those rules,’‘ her tweet read.

The Presidency’s statement also reiterated the point about the leakage of an audio recording in the course of Madonsela’s probe into the relationship between President Zuma and the wealthy Gupta family.

‘‘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.

‘‘It is also not clear why Adv Madonsela decided to leak only the audio recordings of the discussion with the President despite the fact that she had interviewed several witnesses,’‘ the Presidency added.

Madonsela on Thursday rubbished the issue of the leakage/release stressing that she had no regrets, “Absolutely no regrets. The truth must be told. It may be painful, but it must be told,” she told the ENCA. “It was a legal decision. I really do not understand what the fuss is all about,” she added.

South Africans have been tweeting in support of Madonsela, who is seen as a hero, who whiles in office, exposed high level corruption which made President Zuma highly unpopular. Her reports have led to increased pressure on Zuma to resign. The president survived a no-confidence vote brought by the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) on Thursday in parliament.

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