Thuli Madonsela fears for life – learns of gangster funding her R740k “hit”

JOHANNESBURG, May 8 (Reuters) – South Africa’s top anti-corruption official fears for her life after learning from an informant that hit men are being contracted to kill her, her spokeswoman said on Sunday.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is a leading public figure who scored a major victory when South Africa’s top court ruled on March 31 that President Jacob Zuma had violated the constitution by ignoring her instructions to pay back some of the $16 million of state money spent upgrading his private home.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela won't seek a second term.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela won’t seek a second term.

“On the 1st of April she received a text message from an informant, and that informant warned her to be careful. That person said a top gangster in the Western Cape was paid to get a hit man to kill her,” said spokeswoman Kgalalelo Masibi, confirming a report in the Sunday Times newspaper.

“She is concerned about her safety and security,” Masibi said, adding that Madonsela knew the informant personally.

Western Cape province has a reputation for gangsterism and organised crime but Masibi said Madonsela did not know who wanted to kill her.

Read also: Madonsela: Unless politicians also bend knee to law, country will be lost

Her office, which has a constitutional mandate, probes misconduct and abuse in state affairs and can have several investigations on the go at any time.

Masibi said Madonsela had immediately alerted South Africa’s VIP protection service to the threat and that her security had initially been beefed up, but had since been scaled down.

“Security Services say that 95 percent of the time the informant is incorrect. But what if this falls under the 5 percent that is correct?” Masibi said.

She also said Madonsela had been told by the informant that the hit “should be made to look natural”.

Madonsela was quoted in the Sunday Times as saying she had stopped jogging and had become “cautious” about her movements.

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The opposition Democratic Alliance said in a statement that police must look into the alleged death threats.

Police could not immediately be reached for comment.

By Jenni Evans

Cape Town – The DA joined the call for an urgent probe by police into the death threats against Public Protector Thuli Madonsela after it was reported on Sunday that a contract is out on her life.

“Violence and the threat thereof can, in no uncertain terms, be tolerated and the DA wants SAPS to take these allegations seriously and to ensure that threats on human life, both high profile and ordinary, are prevented and dealt with effectively,” said DA MP Zakhele Mbhele.

The Sunday Times reported that Madonsela was tipped off about an alleged plot to kill her in what would look like a fake car accident.

Read also: Madonsela: No, I won’t stand for President

A Western Cape gangster reportedly funded it at R740 000 and Madonsela found out about it through an informer.

She told the police VIP Protection Unit and her security was beefed up while it is investigated.

Mbhele said that if the police do not act, he would write to the Western Cape Police Ombudsman, Vusi Pikoli, for a dereliction of duty probe.

“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,” he said.

Read also: Nkandla: Zuma v Madonsela – read their letters, make up your own mind

Madonsela and her colleagues have handled a number of highly controversial cases, including the spending on upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s home in Nkandla.

Madonsela has already been accused of being a CIA spy.

Last week the ANC hit back at her report on alleged conflation between party and the state in the Free State provincial government’s Operation Hlasela programme, describing her view as “unfortunate”.

Madonsela’s term ends in October. – News24


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