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Madonsela files opposing papers

Madonsela says the court bid by government is unlawful and unconstitutional.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela filed opposing papers in the North Gauteng High Court on Tuesday in response to government's application to interdict her from releasing the Nkandla report.

Madonsela believes the interdict is unlawful, unconstitutional and a violation of the independence of her office.

She plans to make the report public, but the state says if she does so, she will be breaking the law.

In a statement released by Madonsela's office on Monday, the Public Protector hit back at government's claims.

The Public Protector's office released the flowchart below as part of its statement, attempting to show that the state is disrupting procedures.

VAVI ON NKANDLA REPORT

Suspended Cosatu General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi says he has no doubt the price of the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home were massively inflated to benefit private companies.

The state's security cluster on Friday turned to the courts to stop Madonsela from releasing her preliminary findings into the R200 million upgrades at Nkandla.

In court papers, the security cluster claimed a team of legal experts identified several security breaches which needed to be examined further before the report could be released.

Government requested more time to examine the document and claimed Zuma's safety would be placed at risk if the report was released.

The state's security cluster further claimed Madonsela unlawfully refused to give more time.

Speaking in his personal capacity, Vavi said he hoped the Public Protector's report on government's Nkandla spending will answer the question of whether political leaders are now joining officials in looting government instead of stopping the rot.

He said the decision to go to court without telling the public why will only deepen suspicions ministers are trying to hide something.

Vavi also said public perception that corruption is out of control has now become a reality.

He said people should fully support plans to ban public servants from doing any business with government.

Madonsela's spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi said the security cluster wrongly assumes it has an automatic right to receive the provisional report.

Masibi said government also asked for an extension beyond the 10 days originally requested.

The Public Protector's office claims giving the state more time will be an injustice to those affected by the report, would prejudice those implicated in wrongdoing and that it's not in the public interest to do so.

Masibi said Madonsela was already in the process of reconsidering whether to give government more time to comment when legal papers arrived at her office.

Government's application will be heard on Friday.

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