Advocate Thuli Madonsela signalled her departure from the Public Protector office during a highly attended media briefing in Pretoria on Friday.
“To my successor – I’m out. And that’s it. Just like that,” Madonsela said making gestures of dropping the microphone.
Madonsela fielded numerous questions from journalists. She was also asked to give advice to the next Public Protector Busi Mkhwebane.
“I truly believe that we come to these positions, bringing pieces of ourselves. Your success stories will depend on what you’ve always done in your life. She just has to bring pieces of herself and join prices of this magnificent team and focus on the purpose of this office. That purpose is to assist government.”
Thuli dodged questions on her personal opinion regarding the actions of Zuma, particularly in relation to the alleged state capture investigation by the Public Protector.
“I don’t want to comment on whether the president is operating on the basis of good faith or not. That would be casting aspersions on him,” Madonsela said.
“All I said is that we had made arrangements to meet [with Zuma for the state capture probe] and to proceed along the lines we had agreed to, and on two occasions we didn’t proceed as agreed. What happened between those two agreements, only the Presidency is aware.”
Judge Fourie issued a “preservation order”, which means the findings of the report cannot be public and the report has to be kept in “safekeeping”. He postponed the matter to November 1.
Opposition parties including the Congress of the People, Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters and the United Democratic Movement had joined the court case, opposing Van Rooyen’s applications to interdict Madonsela from releasing the report on state capture.
Madonsela, however, insists Zuma has had enough time, since March 22 this year, to answer her questions on the Gupta’s alleged influence on the State.
Zuma and Van Rooyen have come under fire for interdicting Madonsela, with political parties and analysts accusing them of panicking and applying delaying tactics in the midst of possible damning findings.