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EFF: Zuma's call to silence Madonsela characterises type of dictatorial regime

Presidency issued a statement saying it is concerned about continuing public statements made by Madonsela.

FILE: Advocate Public protector Thuli Madonsela held her last press briefing as the country's public protector in Pretoria on 14 October 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) says President Jacob Zuma’s call for the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to stop commenting on the state of capture report is a form of dictatorship

On Friday, the presidency issued a statement saying it is concerned about continuing public statements made by Madonsela on matters relating to president Zuma and the state of capture report.

The presidency says Madonsela has completed her duties as the public protector and has no further role to play in the process regarding the report.

EFF’s Mbuyiseni Ndlozi says, “President Zuma is already flexing his muscles towards type of dictatorial regimes that characterizes post-colonial societies, where the very first things that they do is to trump on people’s freedom of speech and that’s happening here.”

Ndlozi says Madonsela has a right to freedom of expression like any other citizen to comment about the report.

“Advocate Thuli Madonsela has the right to comment on all reports, both before, during her tenure and after her tenure published by the Public Protector’s office.”

The statement from Presidency said the former Public Protector must step back and allow processes to unfold.

“This conduct has serious implications with regards to ethics, confidentiality and the protection of information gathered during investigations by the Office of the Public Protector.”

The department expressed its concerns about public statements made by Madonsela on matters relating to Zuma and the report.

The Presidency’s Bongani Ngqulunga said they have already lodged a complaint about the release of the audio recording.

“Is it the policy of the Office of the Public Protector to release audio recordings? There are many people who were interviewed and the audio recordings she leaked was on the discussions she had with the president.”

According to the report, Zuma is implicated in alleged illegal activities related to the favourable treatment of the Gupta family.

The report also implicates Cabinet ministers and parastatals.

Madonsela said she released the recording because she wanted to show that he had been given a chance to respond.

Ngqulunga said: “Why release the audio recording of the interview she had with the president? Why that interview alone? There are so many people she interviewed.”