26 August 2014

South Africa: ANC v Public Protector - the Age of Combat Begins


Even by the standards of our rough, hurly-burly politics, the tit-for-tat statements from the Public Protector and the ANC on Monday were pretty brutal. At one point it even seemed that those in charge of their Twitter accounts were about to come to blows.

Through the day there had been accusation, denial, counter-accusation - with a hefty dose of "you don't respect the Constitution" from both sides. What is clear is that the battle brewing between Luthuli House and Advocate Thuli Madonsela has now broken into all-out warfare. The verbal push and shove is now moving into a full-scale bar fight. And, amazingly, Julius Malema hasn't been involved in the slightest.

As always with conflict, context matters. It's important to know who threw the first punch. This all started on Sunday, when the ANC and the SACP attacked Madonsela, and her writing of a letter to President Jacob Zuma saying that he had not complied with her findings that he should repay a "reasonable contribution" to the government money spent on his Nkandla home. The publication of her letter in two major newspapers clearly irritated the ANC beyond measure. It was clear that for them, it's Madonsela...

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