Deputy Minister of Defence and Military Veterans Kebby Maphatsoe apologised and withdrew his statements that public protector Thuli Madonsela was linked to the CIA within just four days last week.
“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,” he said.
Maphatsoe first made the statements at an event on a Saturday, confirmed it to a journalist on the Sunday and by the following Tuesday had withdrawn the statement.
In that time, he came under a fair amount of pressure to do so from two quarters: the public protector herself, who threatened legal action over the statements, and the United States embassy in South Africa.
The US ambassador, in a series of tweets following Maphatsoe’s original comments, condemned the statements, and later said he would lodge a formal complaint. The very next day Maphatsoe issued a statement of apology and retraction.