Public Protector shocked, appalled by rascals that invaded her office on Monday

Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela is shocked and appalled by the acts of a bunch of rascals that invaded her office on Monday. The group stormed the office and overpowered security personnel stationed at the entrance, jumping over the front desk to gain access to the rest of the building.

They demanded to see Adv. Madonsela, who was at the time doing charity work in Johannesburg as part of the Mandela Day activities. Although initial reports suggested that the group had, with them, what was suspected to be petrol, it has since emerged that it was in fact a substance they used on their placards. Police were called in and the situation was diffused, with members of the group being apprehended.

The Public Protector believes that such an illegal violent act, which allegedly included intimidation of staff and taking at least four of them as hostages, should be condemned in the strongest possible terms by all those committed to constitutional democracy and the rule of law. The staff members that were held in one of the offices have since made statements to the police.

The Public Protector wishes to reiterate that the unruly group is not complainants in the matter provided as a basis for their actions but have recently started inquiring about an investigation lodged by Adv. Paul Hoffman of the Institute for Accountability Southern Africa. Adv. Hoffman, as the complainant, is kept abreast of developments in the investigation at regular intervals.

It is important to point out that the investigation is not and could not look into any apartheid crime of theft or any other as that would fall outside the remit of the Public Protector. This is because the Public Protector was only established in democratic South Africa, in October 1995, and has no powers to investigate what is alleged to have happened prior to its existence.

Instead, the investigation looks into the propriety or otherwise of the alleged failure by the democratic government between 1998 and 2003 to implement advise from a retired UK intelligence officer regarding the recovery of an alleged R3.2 billion loan allegedly given to Bankorp by the South African Reserve Bank during apartheid. The investigation is ongoing.

"We expect the law to take its course without fear or favour regarding the criminal invasion of the National Office of the Public Protector," Adv. Madonsela said. "Meanwhile action is being taken to provide therapy to traumatised staff."

For more information contact:

Ms Kgalalelo Masibi
Spokesperson: Public Protector South Africa
Public Protector South Africa
012 366 7066
079 507 0399

Public Protector South Africa

Published Date: 
Tuesday, July 19, 2016