Madonsela has done SA proud
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.