Opposition parties: Public Protector's office under threat

Thuli Madonsela is among a group suspected of spying for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

FILE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela speaks during a media briefing in Pretoria on 28 August 2014. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Opposition parties have raised concerns regarding the threat on the Public Protector's office after it emerged the State Security Agency (SSA) is investigating claims that Thuli Madonsela is among a group suspected of spying for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema, former Democratic Alliance (DA) Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko and Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) President Joseph Mathunjwa have also been implicated in spying in an amateur online blog.

The group have strongly denied the claims.

Congress of the People (Cope) is the latest opposition party to lash out saying the probe seems to be politically motivated.

The party's Dennis Bloem says, "Congress of the People are very much disturbed with this malicious and senseless attack on the public protector. Our democracy is seriously under threat."

American Ambassador to South Africa, Patrick Gaspard, has responded to the website saying that he generally disregards rubbish.


Meanwhile the Public Protector said she was shocked at the SSA's decision to investigate claims.

She has described the allegations as ridiculous.

Madonsela said she felt her dignity had been violated.

"My human rights have been violated. But I'm also just shocked that in a country like South Africa, with its status in the global community, something like this could be allowed to happen."


Last week it emerged at least four senior South African Intelligence agents were withdrawn from their posts in Africa, fearing their cover was blown.

Fearing that the leak of sensitive information contained in hundreds of classified documents would compromise spy identities and locations, the SSA reportedly extracted operatives from several African locations.

The spy bosses reportedly contacted the agents last week, just hours before the documents were released by Al Jazeera.

Agency sources apparently said that some of the agents had been embedded for years but their cover was blown.

They were worried that the leaked documents contained enough information to allow foreign governments to identify the spies.

The agency announced it had launched an investigation into the leaks.

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