'Dealing with underhanded people doesn’t mean you should be'

Thuli Madonsela says she didn’t release the state capture report to allow process of two court interdicts.

Outgoing Public protector Thuli Madonsela during her final press conference in Pretoria. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - Outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says just because they are dealing with underhanded people, doesn't mean her office needs to be underhanded.

Madonsela has been delivering her final media briefing as the Public Protector and has released five reports.

She says she decided not to release the state capture report to allow the process of two court interdicts to take place.

Cooperative Governance Minister Des Van Rooyen and President Jacob Zuma approached the courts this week to stop the report from being released.

Advocate Madonsela says the matter of state capture is one of importance and necessary to complete.

"This matter has created so much fracture in the executive and in the country. It was necessary for the investigation to be done and fast so that any cloud is cleared."

She also has advice for other Chapter 9 institutions.

"Focus on your purpose, which is to protect our public and make only the decisions that your conscience will allow you to make."

SAFEKEEPING

Madonsela also says her successor will be dealing with the court interdict reading her state capture report next week but for now it remains, with the speaker of Parliament for safekeeping.

She says it is not a preliminary report, it is the final document into allegations of state capture and whether the Gupta family unduly influenced President Zuma.

Incoming Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane takes over from tomorrow.

Madonsela says her office decided not to release the state capture report because it is good practice, considering there are two applications for a court interdict.

She says Minister van Rooyen and President Zuma did not indicate that they needed more time but was served with an interdict instead.

However, she cannot discuss the final report at this stage.

Madonsela says she believes the legacy of the Public Protector's office is much more than just the Nkandla report.

She says she doesn't have a trust deficit with her successor and wishes her well.