Today's Big Stories

Gloves off in spat between Public Protector and ANC

Advocate Madonsela appeared before Parliament’s Portfolio Committee for Justice and Correctional Services yesterday to outline her office’s budgetary requirements for 2016. Her office needs a R200 million boost to their existing budget of R248 million.

Madonsela came under fire from ANC members who berated her for not addressing their concerns. The issues they raised relate to procurement processes and the fact that her office was technically insolvent last year. Tensions rose when the MPs pushed for an adjournment of the meeting before she could respond to questions.

Speaking to Udo Carelse this morning, Dr Mathole Motshekga, Chairperson of Committee for Justice & Correctional Services had this to say:

The Public Protector has a mandate to support and strengthen democracy and her office is a very important office. Now we as Parliament have to support her. But in supporting her we have to ensure that she understands her mandate and her powers and that the money given to her is well managed. And that she accounts for it properly.

Dr Mathole Motshekga

The DA has now given notice to move a motion of no confidence in Justice Committee Chair Dr Motshekga. They are accusing Dr Motshekga of showing the Public Protectorate unnecessary levels of contempt.

She gave us a lecture on her office which amounted to a political speak – and her CEO did the same. So I decided to do the extraordinary…

Dr Mathole Motshkega

Dr Mathole Motshekga defended the ANC's "robust engagement", saying the Public Protector behaves "as a law unto herself". Those responding to the interview on twitter (@radio702) lept to the Public Protector's defence.

The Public Protector, meanwhile, has appealed to MPs on the Justice Portfolio Committee to treat her office as a constitutional body, irrespective of whether they like her or not.

Listen to Udo's chat with Dr Motshekga and with the Public Protector below...

In other news, the Gift of the Givers is trying to make arrangements for a helicopter to rescue a South African couple today trapped in nepal following the deadly earthquake.

EWN is reporting that Mike Sherman and his girlfriend Kate Ahrends are still stranded in Langtang Pass.

The 7.8 magnitude quake killed more than 5 - thousand people and thousands more have been injured. More than 16 countries have sent teams to Nepal to help with rescue and recovery operations.

And former Mozambican first lady Graca Machel says she's an African mother in pain, deeply ashamed of anything related to xenophobia. Machel was speaking at a memorial service held for Emmanuel Josias at the East Bank Hall in Alexandra yesterday. The 25 year old Mozambican was stabbed in the township two weeks ago.

EWN are reporting how President Robert Mugabe criticised workers who seek new lives in Johannesburg and other SA cities.

The subject of xenophobic attacks dominated a SADC summit in Harare yesterday after President Jacob Zuma asked to brief his regional counterparts on the violence that claimed the lives of 7 people in South Africa. Host President Robert Mugabe also criticised workers who seek new lives in Joburg and other South African cities.

Read also from EWN how 50 people have been arrested in anti-xenophobic raids in Thembilihle

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