- Thuli Madonsela, former Public Protector came under fire for seemingly implying the Legal Aid lawyers force clients to make confessions
- Madonsela made this insinuation when she questioned why Zandile Mafe, the alleged Parliament fire arsonist has a private lawyer
- South Africans on social media state that Madonsela should not be apologising because she knew what she meant when she made the claims she did
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JOHANNESBURG - The former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela placed herself in the spotlight after making a controversial comment about state lawyers.
Last week, on 5 January, Madonsela took to social media to raise a few questions about Zandile Mafe who is accused of setting Parliament alight.
Legal Aid South Africa issued a statement in response to Madonesela's tweet highlighting that her words to some members of the public made it seem that state lawyers force their clients to plead guilty. The organisation stated the comments made by Madonsela were incorrect.
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Legal Aid SA stated that they represent anyone who applies for legal aid as long as they apply and meet the requirements for legal representation. The organisation stated that Mafe did not apply for legal aid.
Madonsela apologies for her comments
Madonsela took to the comment section of Legal Aid SA's tweet and apologised for her comment.
"Thank you @LegalAidSA1. I regret that my tweet was interpreted to cast aspersions on the great work you do to advance access to justice and reinforce #everydayjustice"
South Africans are not convinced by Madonsela's apology
Some South Africans say the former Public Protector's apology is insufficient and others stated that her comments were not incorrectly interpreted.
Here are some comments:
"You must have held these views as well while serving as Public Protester, what did you do to address this in the interests of ordinary citizens at the mercy of the judicial system?"
"You're not remorseful of your miscalculated tweet, it's clear you still stand by your sentiments hence you cannot apologise for it. To regret with a public apology is insufficient Ntombienhle."
"We gogo we didn't interpret anything you said in your tweet. You cast aspersion to legal aid yourself through your tweet but the damage is done and some including me would have second thought where legal aid SA is concerned."
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"Your tweet was clear and unambiguous. No interpretation is needed except to get the point you made about us Legal-Aid lawyers. I am so disappointed at you and you lost all the respect I had for you."
Thuli Madonsela questions how Zandile Mafe got a private lawyer so quickly
Briefly News previously reported that questions around Zandile Christmas Mafe, the man who has been charged with starting the fire that broke out at Parliament on 2 January, continue to take over social media conversations.
Many people have been trying to figure out whether or not Mafe is homeless, as the initial reports said. This is despite Mafe's lawyer, Luvuyo Godla, dispelling the notion he is a homeless man.
Godla stated in a press briefing shortly after his first appearance that his client should be given bail because he actually has a home and lives in Khayelitsha, according to the Daily Maverick.
Source: Briefly News