South Africa: We Should Know Who Funds Everyone in Parliament, Not Just Ramaphosa €" Madonsela

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela (file photo).
12 September 2019

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has said that details on who funds parliamentarians should not be limited to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the executive.

"I do think it is an important issue and I don't think we should only single out the president. We need to know who is financing who. It has implications for us knowing why people behave the way they do. And its not just the executive, but all people in Parliament. Why do they raise one issue over others?"

She was speaking to journalists after receiving her eighth honorary doctorate, this time from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Madonsela said there were many pressing issues that politicians should be attending to.

"For example, the existential threat to our lives in humanity is climate change and social injustice. But people spend less time on those issues. We would like to know whose agenda they are pushing."

Ramaphosa's lawyers have accused Madonsela's successor, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, of unlawfully using information contained in a report by the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) to make adverse findings on his CR17 election campaign funding.

Ramaphosa accused her office of unlawfully obtained bank records during its investigation into his 2017 ANC election campaign funding.

Speaking about former SABC Chief Operations Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoaneng, Mandonsela said he had lied about his matric, as documented in the report she had compiled on the SABC while she was Public Protector.

"He knows the truth. A report specifies what he said to me and what documentation is there. The truth is he did lie and put symbols showing that he did matric. He did say to the SABC that he was going to collect his symbols and he never produced them."

She added that the COO position was also downgraded for his benefit, according to her findings.

Madonsela said she was also sympathetic to the plight of South African women who have been harmed by men.

"I am sorry that our nation has allowed this to happen. Find someone you can report this to. You must also find counselling."

She said that, if victims experienced trauma, they had to get help urgently.

"When people are traumatised and don't deal with the trauma, they themselves traumatise other people."

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