Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
10 Mar 2020
3:29 pm

Ramaphosa’s defence questions Mkhwebane’s ‘lack of impartiality’ following ruling

Citizen Reporter

In her report, the public protector found that the president deliberately misled parliament and so recommended an investigation by police into possible money laundering.

Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane during the release of her reports at the Public Protector's offices in Pretoria, 28 January 2020. Picture: Jacques Nelles

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s lawyer Peter Harris labelled Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s actions regarding her report into the CR17 presidential election campaign in 2017 an indication of a lack of impartiality or an open mind.

Mkhwebane was ordered to pay Ramaphosa’s costs on Tuesday after the High court set aside Mkhwebean’s report into Ramaphosa’s 2017 presidential election campaign.

The court found that Ramaphosa did not deliberately mislead parliament about a R500,000 Bosasa donation to his CR17 campaign.

Harris, speaking after court, said this lack of impartiality or an open mind was a sad reflection on the current occupier of the office of the public protector.

“In fact, if it weren’t so tragic, it would almost be a joke.”

In November 2018, Ramaphosa was questioned by then DA leader Mmusi Maimane in the National Assembly over a R500,000 payment ostensibly made to his son, Andile, by the now late Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson.

Ramaphosa responded that he was aware of the payment and that it was all above board and part of Andile’s consultancy agreement with the Krugersdorp company, only to backtrack and send a letter to the speaker, correcting his oral reply.

Now, he said, he had been made aware that the payment was, in fact, a donation to his successful 2017 ANC presidential campaign. This prompted the DA to ask the public protector to look into the payment and concerns over money laundering in the way the payment was made, and the relationship between Ramaphosa’s son and Bosasa.

After court, Mkhwebane’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said the public protector’s office respected the ruling but did not necessarily agree with it.

Mkhwebane, in her report, found that Ramaphosa deliberately misled parliament and had recommended an investigation by police into possible money laundering.

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