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Court to provide ‘clarity’ on Thuli Madonsela’s powers

The judgment will outline Madonsela’s powers in connection with the SABC qualifications debacle & Nkandla.

FILE. The judgment will outline Madonsela’s powers in connection with the SABC qualifications debacle & Nkandla. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - A judgment set to be handed down in the Western Cape High Court could provide clarity over Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's powers.

Judge Ashton Schippers is set to rule soon on a case involving the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)'s failure to implement Madonsela's findings.

The Public Protector found the broadcaster's Chief Operating Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng lied about his qualifications and ordered the SABC to take disciplinary action.

Instead, Motsoeneng's appointment was made permanent, prompting the Democratic Alliance (DA) to take the matter to court.

Opposition parties are awaiting Judge Schippers's ruling, after withdrawing from Parliament's ad-hoc committee on Nkandla, where the African national Congress (ANC) is insisting Madonsela's findings are mere recommendations and not binding.

The DA's James Selfe says it's crucial the courts provide clarity on the issue.

"I think it is in South Africa's best interest for there to be legal certainty about the nature and enforceability of remedial action that is ordered by the Public Protector."

He says whether the judgment is in favour of the DA or not, the question is likely to land before the Constitutional Court.

"Either way, we are going to take this matter all the way to the Constitutional Court and I think it is correct to do so. So that we can place once and for all, the issue of whether this is advisory or mandatory beyond any legal doubt whatsoever."

Selfe says the judgment is expected soon.