Madon­sela has done SA proud

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

THE clock is run­ning down on Public Pro- tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela’s time in of­fice. And she has used her last days in the hot seat to shine a light on the is­sue of state cap­ture, in­ter­view­ing Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma about the al­leged in­flu­ence of the Gupta fam­ily and lu­cra- tive con­tracts from state-owned en­ti­ties. Her meet­ing with Zuma did not go well, with his lawyers say­ing the probe should be left to the new in­cum­bent, Bu­sisiwe Mkhwe­bane, as there was not enough time for Madon­sela to fin­ish it. Co­in­ci­den­tally, Zuma an­nounced the ap­point- ment of Mkhwe­bane on the same day. Rather wor­ry­ingly, Mkhwe­bane has been quoted as say­ing her first pri­or­ity would be do deal with old cases that were a mat­ter of “life and death” and she did not see the state cap­ture probe as a pri­or­ity. This must be a great re­lief to Zuma, who is still lick­ing his wounds over hav­ing to pay R7.8 mil­lion for ren­o­va­tions to his Nkandla home. But with only a few days to go in of­fice Madon- sela may still is­sue a pre­lim­i­nary re­port, hav­ing in­ter­viewed one of the Gupta brothers and also ANC peo­ple who claimed the fam­ily had of­fered them cabi­net po­si­tions in re­turn for busi­ness deals. It would not be the com­pleted re­port but would still keep the pres­sure on. Civil so­ci­ety and op­pos- ition par­ties could also push the new public pro- tec­tor to fin­ish the re­port. There may even be quiet sup­port from within the ANC, whose lead­ers have spent the last seven years in­sult­ing and be­lit­tling Madon­sela and ac- cus­ing her of be­ing a CIA spy. Many in the party have come to ad­mire her dogged de­ter­mi­na­tion, in­tegrity and re­spect for the law and con­sti­tu­tion. This week at a farewell gath­er­ing, ANC se­cre- tary gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe praised her for on oc­ca­sion sav­ing the ANC from it­self. South Africans are proud of Madon­sela and grate­ful for the ex­am­ple of eth­i­cal ser­vice she set.

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