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Madonsela: Letter leaked by ANC member

The public protector has hit back at claims that she's been less than neutral in her approach to Nkandla.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says she has been told that her letter to President Jacob Zuma was leaked by a senior politician who is a member of the African National Congress (ANC).

Madonsela hit back this afternoon at claims by the ruling party that she has been less than neutral in her approach to government's spending on Nkandla.

The ANC claims she has undermined Parliament by writing to Zuma and saying that he had not properly complied with her recommendation that he repay some of the money spent on his Nkandla home.

Madonsela sent Zuma a strongly-worded seven-page letter in which she said he hasn't complied with her Nkandla findings.

She also demanded to know when he would pay back some of the money spent on upgrades at his private home in KwaZulu-Natal and requested his response within 14 days.

In a statement, Madonsela says she considers it improper that a senior member of the ruling party has leaked her letter to the media and has appealed to media organisations not to publish leaked documents.

The public protector also says she believes the public attacks on her office by the ANC and alliance organisations amount to interference with her office.

Madonsela says she doesn't understand how her letter to the president could in any way undermine Parliament and she agrees with the ANC that it's up to that institution to deal finally with this issue.

She also points out that Zuma himself in his response to the findings makes no comment on her report.

Meanwhile, the ANC has promised that its members will deal properly with the public protector's Nkandla report when it comes before Parliament's Nkandla ad-hoc committee.

Party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa says the ANC has always ensured that other parties are part of Parliamentary processes.

"The smallest party in Parliament is represented because we believe that the smallest voice is also important. We have never before used our numbers just to contest anything that may be irrational in Parliament."

The Nkandla upgrades came under heavy criticism in a report by Madonsela in March.

Madonsela's report said Zuma had "benefitted unduly" from some of the upgrades, which included a cattle enclosure and amphitheatre, and that he should pay back some of the costs of the unnecessary renovations.

The president was ushered out of the National Assembly last week amid chants of 'pay back the money' by the Economic Freedom Fighters, whose leader Julius Malema demanded that Zuma commit to a date.