Publication: Mail and Guardian Issued: Date: 2004-06-02 Reporter: Sapa

ANC Denies Criticising Ngcuka



Mail & Guardian

Date 2004-06-02



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The African National Congress on Wednesday dismissed media reports claiming the party had criticised National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka.

Several daily newspapers reported that the ANC criticised Ngcuka and former justice minister Penuell Maduna for attacking Lawrence Mushwana, the Public Protector.

Mushwana said last Friday that Ngcuka and Maduna failed to cooperate with him when he was investigating a complaint against Ngcuka, much to the outrage of Maduna and Ngcuka.

Maduna responded last Saturday by saying Mushwana was the "saddest case I have had to look at, intellectually". Ngcuka said he felt sorry for Mushwana as he had no backbone.

On Tuesday, the ANC national working committee (NWC) released a statement expressing "concern and disquiet" that important people had made ill-considered statements after Mushwana released his report.

"The NWC called on all involved to act in a manner befitting their position, and to exercise due respect for these important institutions of state," the statement read.

Some newspapers reported on Wednesday that the NWC rebuked or berated Ngcuka and Maduna following its regular meeting at the weekend.

Later on Wednesday, the ruling party said the reports, which were contained in a number of newspapers, were misleading.

"The ANC wishes to state for the record that this statement was not limited to the comments of Ngcuka and Maduna, but was intended to apply to all those occupying important positions who had made ill-considered public statements on the matter."

Mushwana released his report after probing whether Ngcuka conducted himself properly when investigating allegations of corruption against Deputy President Jacob Zuma.

The deputy president complained to Mushwana in October last year that he was not fairly treated by Ngcuka during the investigation.

It is the probe against Zuma that has resulted in senior ANC members publicly fighting each other, some calling others liars and others labelling some members arrogant.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and the Mail & Guardian.