Govt will keep working with Madonsela

The security cluster says the recent court battle will not affect relations with Madonsela.

The justice department’s Mthunzi Mhaga. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Government on Thursday said it is convinced that despite a controversial court battle over the Nkandla report it can continue working well with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Ministers in the security cluster officially withdrew their interdict application against the protector.

Officials claimed they wanted more time to respond to her interim investigation into R200 million security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private home in KwaZulu-Natal.

The state on Friday abandoned any attempt to force Madonsela to pay the legal fees associated with the interdict application.

Speaking on behalf of the security cluster, Mthunzi Mhaga says the relationship is not broken.

"We always reaffirm our support for the mandate of the public protector and for the functions and duties that are enshrined in the Constitution. We're dealing with a constitutionally established structure here."

During the court battle, Madonsela claimed ministers tried to shut down her investigation and obstructed her team.

The ministers questioned whether she could keep an open mind to their security concerns.

Madonsela maintains there are no security breaches in her report.

Government has until the end of Friday to submit comments to Madonsela, who is now trying to finish her report.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko has condemned the security cluster for taking Madonsela to court.

"The public protector and her office are protected by the Constitution. They are only accountable to the Constitution and the law and they report to Parliament. No minister can interfere in their work.

"What effectively happened was that the ministers tried to use the courts to create for themselves a power they didn't have over her."

Mazibuko believes the court application was politically driven.

To read the state's affidavit document click here.