Biased and captured: Mkhwebane's supporters slam courts for playing politics

2020-03-11 16:54

Some members of the ANC and opposition parties are urging the Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to challenge the damning judgment against her handed down by the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday.

The court on Tuesday set aside Mkhwebane’s report into whether President Cyril Ramaphosa benefited from the CR17 campaign which had funded his run for president of the ANC in 2017.

The entire saga between the president and the Public Protector was triggered by a question in Parliament to the president over a R500 000 donation from Bosasa to his campaign.

The court, in a scathing judgment, found the Public Protector not only lacked the jurisdiction to investigate the matter, but that her report also contained errors in law.

One of Mkhwebane's biggest supporters, Andile Lungisa, who is an ANC councillor in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, said Mkhwebane should appeal the matter.

“No [presidential] campaign can be called private, it was a public campaign. How is it not within the ambit of the Public Protector?” he told News24.

He accused the courts of having "taken a political position".

His views were shared by Mkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson, Carl Niehaus, who is also a representative of the Radical Economic Transformation support group for former president, Jacob Zuma.

READ: Public Protector judgment holds implications for Parliament

Niehaus said that while the support group accepted the judgment, it raised serious concerns.

“At the appropriate time, we will respond in the appropriate manner to the challenges of this judgment, and the general state of affairs in our country.”

Edward Zuma, the son of former president Jacob Zuma, accused the judiciary of being selective and forgetful when it came to certain matters.

Judiciary is biased

He claimed the judiciary was captured by white monopoly capital, which he said played itself out in different forms, and he accused some individuals in the ANC of being behind it.

Zuma junior, who is also a member of the governing party, rejected the statement released by the party, which welcomed the ruling.

"As Edward Zuma, I have always been vocal on the issue of the Public Protector and her office. It must be taken further, until these people and ordinary people realise the judiciary has been biased,” he said.

“What is being done to her (Mkhwebane's) office, and to her personally, is uncalled for and unfortunate,” said Zuma junior.

ALSO READ |EFF to appeal Mkhwebane judgment, DA says Ramaphosa still has questions to answer

African Transformation Movement (ATM) president, Vuyo Zungula, echoed these statements, also calling for Mkhwebane to challenge the high court findings.

The EFF has already announced it will petition the Constitutional Court to hear the matter, and Zungula said his party was considering joining the EFF's efforts

He argued that Tuesday’s judgment placed the country’s democracy at risk, saying Ramaphosa was “absolved” from taking responsibility for his role in the CR17 campaign debacle.

He said that, despite Ramaphosa being deputy president at the time the R500 000 changed hands, those who were asked to fund his campaign did so knowing he would become president and it could have had an influence in that regard.

Zungula repeated throughout the interview with News24 that the judgment made no sense.

Read more on:    busisiwe mkhwebane  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  cr17
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