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Madonsela asks Parliament for R200m

Tempers flared after Madonsela and her team addressed MPs on their strategic plan and budget.

FILE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has told Members of Parliament (MPs) in the justice portfolio committee that her office needs an additional R200 million to do its work.

But her request was met with resistance from African National Congress (ANC) MPs and led to an hour's worth of heated exchanges between ANC and Democratic Alliance (DA) MPs.

Tempers flared after Madonsela and her team addressed MPs on their strategic plan and budget.

"We've given you a budget based on the money that has already been allocated and that is how we have provided for it," Madonsela said.

"In addition to that we are asking this Parliament to consider giving us or asking Treasury to give us a baseline that is increased by R200 million, which is primarily informed by the structure that this Parliament approved, which gives us 598 people, while currently we only have a structure that is funded for 322 people.

"Of the R15 million extra we got R7 million is for litigation and R8 million is for trainees," Madonsela said, adding this would only fund 80 trainees and not the 100 trainees it started with.

Committee chairperson Mathole Motshekga responded by accusing them of failing to address concerns MPs raised in a meeting last year.

"This committee wanted the Public Protector's office to take effective steps to prevent irregular expenditure, wrong procurement processes and to take disciplinary action where necessary and to put in place proper IT practices and procedures and to address the fact that the office was technically insolvent when we met last year."

He suggested Madonsela come back next week with additional information.

But DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach was incensed.

"Would you allow me to speak?" she asked.

"Just behave yourself," Motshekga responded.

"I'm behaving perfectly well," Breytenbach said.

In the end, Madonsela was given several minutes to brief the committee on the outstanding issues.