This was the short answer Thuli Madonsela gave on Monday night when reporters asked her if she would be willing to go back to the African National Congress (ANC), a party she was once a member of.

“I was a member of the ANC and I left it in 2007, not because I had any bad feelings but professionally, I felt that I needed to distance myself from any political party and I am still in that space,” Madonsela said.

She was speaking on the sidelines of the 2016 Mahamta Gandhi Awards at the Durban City Hall, where she received The Second Satyagraha Award for her tremendous contribution during her tenure as Public Protector.

She did however say that her services would be available to all political parties.

“I feel that at this stage, I can assist all political parties if they need my advice or services for free but otherwise, I am taking a holiday for the next 13 months or so.”

She has received widespread criticism particularly from the ANC following the release of the State of Capture report, which investigated allegations of state capture by the controversial Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane.

Other recipients included Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Shaka Sisulu, both who could not attend due to ill health, and Judge Albie Sachs.