Ramphele: Public must defend Madonsela

The Agang SA leader says the ANC is undermining the Public Protector’s independence.

Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele has called on South Africans to stand together and defend the office of the Public Protector.

This follows the court application brought by the state's security cluster in a bid to delay the release of the Nkandla report.

Thuli Madonsela has been investigating the more than R200 million upgrade at President Jacob Zuma's private home and she is ready to release her findings.

But the security cluster is concerned the release may jeopardise Zuma's security.

The security cluster has asked for more time to study the report but Madonsela believes this is not necessary.

The matter will be heard in court on Friday.

Madonsela has since filed opposing papers in the North Gauteng High Court in response to government's interdict.

Ramphele told 567 Cape Talk that the ANC is undermining Madonsela's office.

"This spat is an example of the real risk we face as a country as this government becomes more and more insecure. It is undermining the very foundation of our democracy, which is the separation of powers within our Constitution.

"The fact that there's a vigorous defence of not making the report public is an indication of the ANC's attempt to protect their wrongdoing from public scrutiny."

Ramphele added that this was not the first time the ANC had interfered with investigations.

"We've seen them attacking the Scorpions and in the end abolishing them. This is now a major threat to the office of the Public Protector."

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe has denied interfering in Madonsela's work, saying it is up to her to make the report public or not.