Thuli Madonsela for President? No ways, she tells Cape Town Press Club

It’s hard not to have mixed emotions when considering the now-eliminated possibility of Thuli Madonsela becoming President of South Africa. In the first heady rush of fantasy one considers what she might do, given her track record and public pronouncements, and visualises how our society might change. But then, upon more realistic and sober reflection, one softens and thinks that passing her the poisoned chalice would be no way to express gratitude. Her legacy of terrain-altering change was constructed with such courage and grace, (not to mention tactical shrewdness). Nobody can persuade her from her chosen course anyway – she turned the suggestion down with several astute insights and observations on the presidential race during her address to the Cape Town Press Club on January 16th. Observations that sent Edward Zuma, a major beneficiary of his father’s presidency, into near apoplexy, sputtering accusations of hypocrisy and accusing Madonsela of being the very proxy she was dead set against if that marked a gender-change in the presidency. Certain she was referring to his beloved Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, he accused Madonsela of being a proxy of white interests in talking to the mainly-white Cape Town Press Club, among other things. Read what she actually said and what her plans are below. – Chris Bateman

By Jenni Evans

Cape Town – Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has no desire to become the president of South Africa, she said at a Cape Town Press Club function on Monday.

“I am neither qualified to be president, nor interested in that job,” said Madonsela, who is currently on a fellowship at Harvard University.

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela speaks at the Nelson Mandela Foundation in Houghton, Johannesburg, South Africa. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

But she would love to see a female president, as long as she is not a “proxy” president.

“Because that would be worse than having a man,” she added.

Madonsela said she would also like a president who would get South Africa “back on track”.

She said she was going to spend the year working at Harvard towards a social justice programme that she hoped to establish at Stellenbosch University in 2018.

She also wants to join the Cape Bar for some part-time work.

Madonsela paid tribute to her successor, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, saying her office seemed to be going in the right direction.

Madonsela ended her seven-year tenure in the hotseat with an interdict against the release of her report into state capture.

She also faces criminal charges over the release of an audio of President Jacob Zuma being questioned by her on allegations that the Gupta family may have had an undue influence in his appointment of certain Cabinet ministers.

The former Public Protector revealed that she had become passionate about the Fees Must Fall movement after her daughter told her about students sleeping in university bathrooms because they had nowhere else to go.

She suggested a campaign involving everyone in the country donating R5 towards fees, to be matched by government, to help alleviate the burden on students. – News24


Become a full-time politician or shut up, Zuma’s son tells Madonsela

By Amanda Khoza

Durban – President Jacob Zuma’s son Edward has read former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela the riot act, saying she “should either become a full-time politician or just shut up”.

It appears as though Madonsela’s comments on her preferred candidate to succeed his father have riled the president’s eldest son.

“It is either she decides to be a politician full time or just shut up,” a livid Zuma said, responding to Madonsela’s statements made during a Cape Town Press Club function on Monday.

During the event Madonsela, who left office of the Public Protector in October and was currently on a fellowship at Harvard University, was asked if she would consider becoming the next president.

“I am neither qualified to be president nor interested in that job,” she said.

Madonsela went on to say that South Africa deserved a good president.

‘Insult’ to Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

She said she hoped that the next president would be one that built a united South Africa.

“Should he be a male, should she be a female…I would love it to be a female but I would hate to have a female that is a proxy, because that would be worse than having a man,” Madonsela said.

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

An irate Zuma said: “She is rude. She would love to see a female South African president but it should not be a proxy, clearly she is insulting uNkosazana [Dlamini-Zuma].”

Zuma said he was offended by Madonsela’s remarks.

“She was addressing a white dominated gathering in Cape Town, she is a proxy herself.”

He said it was well known that Dlamini-Zuma was the preferred female candidate to succeed Zuma. If Dlamini-Zuma, who had the support of the ANC Women’s League, were to succeed in her candidacy, she would likely go head-to-head with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa for the top position. However, the party has yet to officially open the succession debate.

Current Public Protector ‘undermined’

“My interest is the ANC, clearly the female candidate is known, it is Nkosazana, we all know that. Obviously if she says she does not want a president who is a proxy, she is referring to her, whose proxy is Nkosazana?”

He questioned the CX report that Madonsela touched on during the briefing.

“That investigation is still in the office of the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. She is basically undermining Busisiwe, the current Public Protector.”

Zuma wondered who Madonsela was trying to impress.

Madonsela could not be reached for comment after repeated attempts. – News24