Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has given MKMVA chairman Kebby Maphatsoe three days to prove his claim that she is working for the CIA, her office said on Monday.
“[She is] requesting him to confirm if he indeed made those comments and if so, provide her with incontrovertible evidence within 72 hours of receipt of the letter to support the claims,” spokesman Oupa Segalwe said.
“She also expects Mr Maphatsoe to issue a retraction and public apology within the said period, failing which she will be left with no choice but to invoke the contempt of the public protector powers in terms of sections nine and 11 of the Public Protector Act 23 of 1994.”
According to section nine and 11 of the act, it is a crime to insult the public protector.
The Star reported earlier on Monday that Maphatsoe, who is also deputy defence and military veterans minister, had accused Madonsela of being a CIA plant.
“We can’t allow people to hijack the ANC. We’ll fight and defend the African National Congress. uThuliumele asitshele ukuthi ubani ihandler yakhe [Thuli must tell us who her handler is],” Maphatsoe reportedly said at the tombstone unveiling of Umkhonto we Sizwe combatant Linda ‘Lion of Tshiawelo’ Jabane in Soweto on Saturday.
“They are even using our institution now… These Chapter Nine institutions were created by the ANC but are now being used against us, and if you ask why it is the Central Intelligence Agency. Ama [the] Americans want their own CEO in South Africa and we must not allow that,” Maphatsoe reportedly said.
However, at a press briefing later on Monday the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans’ Association (MKMVA) denied the statement, but conceded that reference to the CIA had been made.
“He did make reference to the possibility of a CIA machination in an attempt to destabilise the country,” Maphatsoe’s special adviser Ike Moroe told reporters in Johannesburg.
“[However] nothing is impossible… from the international intelligence community.”
Maphatsoe said MK members had been trained to spot “enemy agents”.
“We know how foreign intelligence works and we are not just thumbsucking. We’ve got those [sic] expertise amongst us and we are not taking chances,” he said.
“We have people who were in the intelligence of the African National Congress [who are] able to identify enemy agents.
“They [foreign intelligence] create their own person and popularise him or her. That’s how they work, they create you… they make sure you are well accepted by the people,” he said.
Maphatsoe denied the MKMVA was attacking the office of the public protector.
Madonsela has come under attack from the ANC and some alliance structures ever since sending a letter to President Jacob Zuma last month. In it she expressed concern that he was second-guessing the recommendations she made in her report on security upgrades to his Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, homestead.
“She thinks she is God,” Maphatsoe said on Monday.
“It is clear she wants the head of the president. She’s no longer playing the ball, she’s playing the person.”
He claimed Madonsela was running a parallel government and called on her to come to her senses.
“Her actions leave us with no choice but to say her actions are that of enemy agents.”