JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela must stop acting as if she is God, former national police commissioner Bheki Cele was quoted as saying in Beeld on Monday.
Cele, who is a member of the African National Congress's national executive committee, was reportedly speaking at an election rally in Mamelodi, Pretoria, on Sunday.
He said Madonsela's office was set up by the ANC to fight corruption and that she, as an individual, needed to be separated from the office of the Public Protector.
"Thuli Madonsela is just a person. People are going on like she is Jesus of Jerusalem. She isn't," Cele said, according to the Afrikaans daily.
Cele was named in Madonsela's investigation into costly security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. He allegedly failed to stop wasteful spending at Nkandla.
Madonsela recently found that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from R246-million in upgrades to Nkandla.
"She must stop acting like she is God," said Cele.