Zuma audio recording legitimately released‚ not leaked‚ says Madonsela
Thuli Madonsela has denied an insinuation by Gupta-owned television news channel ANN7 that she "deliberately leaked" an audio recording of her interview with President Jacob Zuma.
"There's no admission of a leak. ANN7 is being mischievous or malicious or both‚" the former public protector told TMG Digital on Wednesday.
ANN7 screened a news clip earlier on Wednesday which said that Madonsela had confessed to "deliberately" leaking the audio recording of her meeting with Zuma and his legal representative during her probe into allegations of state capture.
The television channel‚ and other news organisations‚ had simultaneously interviewed Madonsela on the sidelines of the Association of Black Securities Investment Professionals' annual conference on Tuesday‚ where she was a guest speaker.
In the edited video clip Madonsela says‚ "As a Public Protector‚ I made a decision that my interview with the president must be made public. Not as evidence of whether or not there is state capture. As evidence that I did give the president a chance to answer.
"You will recall that by the 14th of October‚ the president had already told nation that he is taking me on application for an interdict because I had not given him due process."
Speaking to TMG Digital‚ Madonsela denied confessing to have "leaked" the report.
"It doesn't make sense to say I leaked the interview. They should not interpret me. They should say what I said. I operate within the law‚" she said.
"I said I released the record of the interview because‚ as you may remember‚ I was public protector until the 14th of October. I released the record on the 13th."
Madonsela said after hearing that Zuma was to file an application to interdict the release of the state capture report‚ she met with her lawyers.
"I indicated to my team that we should transcribe the interview after the president disputed having being given a chance to answer."
Madonsela said her intention was to hand the transcript of the interview to parliament together with the state capture report.
"The transcript and the report were handed to parliament [for safe keeping].
"The audio was given to someone else for safe keeping pending the court outcome.
"I had the authority to do that. My staff were not authorised to give stuff to anyone unless I allowed that‚" she said.