Call for SAPS to act on alleged Madonsela death threats

BY CHARL BOSCH - MAY 9, 2016

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and Congress of the People (Cope) have labelled weekend media reports that a Western Cape gang boss wanted a hit to be carried on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, as a disturbing threat that needs to be taken seriously.

According to the Sunday Times, an alleged police informant told Madonsela’s office that the boss had been paid R740 000 and even hired three hitmen to kill her in a staged car accident. He also stated that one of the would-be attackers confirmed they were paid R40 000 each to get her rid of Madonsela, and that individuals in the criminal underworld involved in the plot, were aware of her every move.

In an interview with the paper, Madonsela, who was preparing to attend the Cape Town Jazz Festival when she received the message, said she had been left “traumatised” by the claims and even resorted to change her daily routine as the same informant had provided credible information to her before.

“I don't know where this is coming from. I'm leaving office in five months' time. It's probably revenge. I don't know who was behind the alleged plot and what their motives are,” she said.

Speaking in a statement, DA Shadow Minister of Police Zakhele Mbhele said the matter must be treated with urgency, adding that the South African Police Service (SAPS) must account to Parliament on the measures taken to protect the heads of Chapter Nine institutions.

“Our nation’s VIP Protection Unit falls under the SAPS which is duty-bound to ensure that the Public Protector is protected and not intimidated so she may continue to carry out her constitutional functions,” he said.

“It cannot be that the heads of critical institutions in defence of our democracy can have threats made on their lives for acting in manner that is too independent in an effort to root out government corruption wherever it festers”.

Similarly, Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said attempts to intimidate Madonsela have become a hallmark of the African National Congress (ANC) for some months, and that her safety needs to be a top consideration until her term in office ends.

“The ruling party sees her as a stumbling block to their freedom to act dishonestly and to abuse power with impunity. They have little appreciation for her work or the enormous difficulties and dangers she faces,” Bloem said.

“However much she is loathed by ANC apparatchiks and leaders, the government must leave no stone unturned to delve into this serious threat on her life. She must remain free and safe, for the little time she has left in office, to act fairly and fearlessly against those who violate the Constitution of our country and who undermine the rule of law”.