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Maphatsoe apologises to Madonsela

Kebby Maphatsoe accused Thuli Madonsela of being a CIA spy deployed to destabilise the ANC and the country.

Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans' Association (MKMVA) chairman Kebby Maphatsoe speaks about the recent formation of a breakaway political party by ANC veterans during a news conference in Johannesburg, Tuesday, 30 April 2013. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Defence Minister and Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association chair, Kebby Maphatsoe, has now apologised to the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

At the weekend, the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (Mkmva) chair accused Madonsela of being a CIA spy deployed to destabilise the African National Congress (ANC) and ultimately the country.

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

The spy comments triggered a potential diplomatic row with the US Embassy threating to lodge a formal complaint.

The American government called the claims senseless and offensive.

The ANC labelled his utterance's "unfortunate".

The deputy minister's spokesperson Ike Moroe said, "After consulting with the ruling party he has withdrawn his comments and apologised to the Public Protector for any offense and hurt he caused her."

The public protector had given the deputy minister a 72-hour deadline to retract his statement or provide proof of his allegation.

MAPHATSOE CALLED AN IDIOT

Earlier on Tuesday, Maphatsoe was called an idiot for claiming Madonsela is a CIA agent.

The insult was delivered by Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament (MP) David Maynier, who was ordered to leave the National Assembly this afternoon when he refused to withdraw it.

"Deputy Speaker I refuse to withdraw my remark that Maphatsoe is an idiot because he is an idiot."

DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane slammed Maphatsoe's comments, which have sparked a potential diplomatic row.

The allegation by Maphatsoe was made in the wake of Madonsela's letter to 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 which said President Jacob 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.

Furthermore, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and chief whip Floyd Shivambu accused Maphatsoe of lying to Parliament but were ordered to withdraw their statements, which they eventually did.

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