PUBLIC protector Thuli Madonsela received a tongue- lashing yesterday from MPs who accused her of being too big for her boots.
MPs on the justice and constitutional development portfolio committee took particular exception to Madonsela's insistence the office of the public protector derived its full powers from the constitution and not necessarily from legislation such as the Public Protector's Act.
The committee members met to discuss the public protector's annual report for 2012-2013.
They were not impressed with Madonsela's request for a separate meeting with legislators to discuss section 182 of the constitution, which deals with the powers and functions of her office.
ANC MP and committee chairman Luwellyn Landers told Madonsela to stop treating MPs like novices who started their jobs "last week".
DA MP Dene Smuts said Madonsela seemed unwilling to be held accountable by MPs – her superiors.
Matters came to a head when Madonsela said her office had prepared a "little booklet" which could be sent to MPs to help them understand the laws governing her office. Smuts retorted: "It's alright ma'am, I've been involved in the writing of the constitution. I really don't need little booklets."
Landers added: "They are saying [ there are] things coming from you that are bordering on the insulting. Little books, workshops, quotations from Britain."