US embassy rejects Madonsela claims as 'offensive'

Embassy Spokesperson Jack Hillmeyer says they will lodge a complaint through diplomatic channels.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - The US Embassy has rejected claims that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is a CIA agent as offensive and is now warning it will lodge an official complaint through diplomatic channels.

The Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association has launched a fresh scathing attack on Madonsela, questioning her Nkandla investigation.

Maphatsoe was addressing hundreds of people at the unveiling of a tombstone for former Umkhonto we Sizwe combatant Linda Jabane in Soweto at the weekend.

At the weekend, Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Kebby Maphatsoe accused Madonsela of being a CIA spy.

US Embassy Spokesperson Jack Hillmeyer said in a statement this morning that the US categorically rejects the baseless and offensive accusation from the deputy minister and will lodge a complaint through diplomatic channels.

South Africa's relations with the US have been warm following last year's visit by President Barack Obama.

But the deputy minister's remarks and the terse response from the embassy indicate that nothing should be taken for granted in dealing with the world's last remaining super power.

The extent of Washington's anger and the consequences for South Africa will become clear when the diplomatic protest is made.

Maphatsoe says Madonsela must come clean and tell the country who she's working for.

"She should tell the country who her handlers are. We also want to know who trained her and where she was trained."

He says the public protector has overstepped her mandate and is in a race for media attention.

"We appeal to her to show maturity and less fondness for publicity stunts and give other processes a chance."

The allegation by Maphatsoe was made in the wake of her letter to President Jacob Zuma last month in which she demanded answers as to when he would respond to her Nkandla report.

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.