President Cyril Ramphosa has reiterated that the suspension of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has nothing to with her investigation in his $4 million (R61.8 million) Phala Phala farm robbery.
The president was addressing the media on Friday where he responded to questions surrounding the criminal complaint by former spy boss Arthur Fraser and allegations of money laundering.
Ramaphosa suspended Mkhwebane with immediate effect on Thursday after she submitted her reasons to the president on 27 May on why she should not be suspended.
Mkhwebane announced on Friday that she will be challenging her suspension by the President saying the truth will come out and there will be much needed accountability by all those entrusted with very serious constitutional powers including Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa said he was oblivious to the Western Cape High Court’s judgment against Mkhwebane’s interdict not be suspended despite her saying the rational and respectful thing to do would have been to await the court’s decision rather than acting in contempt of court.
“I did not know that a judgement would be coming out as early as yesterday or so. But I felt I should still go ahead not withstanding that. So, the issue of timing has to be looked at int the historic processes that had taken place.”
“It was not an immediate turn of events and it was not really even linked to the investigation that she argues that she has launched in regards to the robbery at the farm. I also did say that the office of the public protector remains once the public protector is suspended, the work of that office does not come to an end, it continues,” Ramaphosa said.
During the media briefing, Ramaphosa also once again refused to provide details of the robbery saying he would like to leave the whole matter to the due processes that must unfold.
Ramaphosa said he is aware of number of questions surrounding the robbery.
“I did say in the National Assembly quite a bit of counsel was passed onto me by a variety of members, some even quoting the bible and all that.”
Ramaphosa said he has voluntarily offered to present himself before them integrity commission.
“I will be seeing them, a date that is yet to be set and I felt following the 54th conference where conference said if there are allegations against anyone of us, we should present ourselves before the integrity commission and not wait to be called.”
Ramaphosa said he won’t interfere with the investigation surrounding the alleged theft of $4 million (R61.8 million) at his farm, and he would also abide by the party’s processes if the ANC’s step aside rules were to come into play.