Public Protector`s response to our concerns

26 August 2014

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip notes the response of the Public Protector to our criticism of her decision to send a letter to the President. We vehemently reject her wild and baseless accusation that we don`t respect the Constitution and that we are interfering in her lawful duties. It has become that Office`s habit to label and demonise those who disagree with it on matters of principle.

We remain unfazed and firm in our belief that, by directly writing to the President regarding his report which is currently before a process of Parliament, she has demonstrated disregard for the authority of Parliament and lack of confidence in its lawful processes.

The Public Protector`s response, as expected, belabours allegations and labels, but fails to deal with simple, principled and direct issues we have raised:

1. How does the Public Protector reconcile her earlier constitutionally and procedurally sound position to allow a Parliamentary process to take its course with her letter to the President complaining about the alleged inadequacy of his report?

2. By writing to the President regarding the "Secure in Comfort" report - which she has concluded and is now ready for formal consideration by Parliament - she is encroaching on the constitutional authority of the institution. Essentially, her action establishes a parallel process that not only duplicates the work of the ad hoc committee but also renders the parliamentary process meaningless. Our constitutional institutions ought to respect and complement each other`s powers and functions rather than compete and undermine each other.

The Public Protector, like any South African, has the right to disagree and criticise our views. However, she should at least attempt to provide the nation with clarify regarding the principled matters we have raised.
Her yesterday`s statement, although lengthy, has regrettably left the public none the wiser.


Moloto Mothapo 082 370 6930