Fraud claims baseless and malicious - Madonsela

Public Protector says she will not stop speaking truth to power

The Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela's statement read at the media briefing today, July 6 2011

Allegations against the Public Protector baseless

We have noted media reports and enquiries about allegations against me relating to a period when I was a fulltime Commissioner at the South African Law Reform Commission (SLRC), a statutory body linked to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (see original Star report).

The allegations are baseless and malicious. I have never been accused of fraud and corruption.

I owned a company called Waweth, a Policy and Law Research Agency, which I managed directly from 2003 - 2007 and then employed an Executive Manager to manage it when I became a Commissioner at the SLRC in 2007. The company was closed when I became a Public Protector in 2009.

I have ascertained that Waweth was involved in about three or so small contracts with the Department of Justice, the main one involving the sale of books recommended by the Department of Public Service and Administration. By last night we assessed the value of the contracts to about R46 000.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development was aware of the fact that I owned Waweth and the National Treasury became aware of the company when I made submissions relating to my salary as a Commissioner.

My involvement in Waweth was always above board and at no point was it ever concealed. In a number of documents and publications of the SALRC where I featured, it showed that I was part of Waweth.

It is unfortunate that there are these reports that seek to distract us from the work we are doing in terms of our constitutional mandate. The timing of the reports on the day that was mistakenly reported to be the day when the SAPS Durban lease report would be made public is also suspect.

My office will not be sidetracked nor deterred from pursuing its constitutional mandate. I have a job to do and I will do it to the best of my abilities. I will not stop speaking truth to power on the basis of impartiality and independence as demanded by the Constitution.

Statement issued by the Public Protector South Africa, July 6 2011

Click here to sign up to receive our free daily headline email newsletter