AS IT HAPPENED: Public Protector claims 'millions' of rands flowed through Ramaphosa's campaign account

2019-07-19 13:00

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has released a report on President Cyril Ramaphosa and found that he deliberately misled Parliament when he failed to divulge the details of campaign donations he received, in particular a payment from Bosasa.

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(Courtesy of SABC)

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is seen during
LIVE NEWS FEED

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Last Updated at 12:38
19 Jul 12:59


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The briefing concludes.


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SUMMARY:

Mkhwebane has also come to the conclusion that there is merit to allegations of money laundering, based on the facts before her. 

Mkhwebane detailed how the R500 000 donation by Bosasa's Gavin Watson made its way to the CR17 trust account, noting that it went through several intermediaries before landing into Ramaphosa's campaign fund.

She also found that just over R191m was transferred into the CR17 account between December 2016 and January 2018.

Around the same amount was transferred out of the account during the same period, Mkhwebane said.

She added that three amounts, of around R31m, R39m, and over R51m were transferred by the same donor into the CR17 account.

"In conclusion, on the above revelations relating to the exchanges of large sums of money, some of which [was] received from private companies, I wish to express my preliminary view that such a scenario, when looked at carefully, creates a situation of the risk of some sort of state capture by those donating these monies to the campaign," Mkhwebane said.


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Mkhwebane now takes questions from the media.


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Mkhwebane: "I therefore find that the president's failure to disclose financial interests, which accrued to him as a result of the donations received towards the CR17 (campaign), to be in violation of paragraph 2 of the Executive Ethics Code, and accordingly amounts to a conduct that is inconsistent with his office as a member of Cabinet..."


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Mkhwebane says the EFG directors said the account was constantly audited. Mkhwebane says this was one of the accounts the money went through before it went to the campaign.


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Mkhwebane now goes through a list of people she interviewed during the investigation of the complaints, and her interactions with them, leading up to her findings.


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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has released a damning report on President Cyril Ramaphosa, finding that he deliberately misled Parliament and breached the Executive Ethics Code by failing to disclose the donations to the CR17 campaign.

Here is a summary of Mkhwebane's findings:

 - Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa deliberately misled the National Assembly concerning the R500 000 donation, when he responded to a question asked by DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

 - Mkhwebane has also found that Ramaphosa violated the Executive Ethics Code in that he exposed himself to a situation involving the risk of conflict between himself and his son through businesses owned by AGO (Bosasa).

 - In another damning finding, Mkhwebane has found that Ramaphosa also breached the Executive Ethics Code by failing to disclose financial interest accrued to him as a result of the donations received towards the CR17 campaign.

 - Mkhwebane also said she is of the view that there is merit to the allegation of money laundering, in terms of the R500 000 Bosasa donation, as it was sent to several intermediaries before landing in the CR17 trust account.


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"The allegation that there is an improper relationship between President Ramaphosa and his family on the one side, and the company African Global Operations (AGO/Bosasa) on the other side, due to the nature of the R500 000 payment passing through several intermediaries, instead of a straight donation towards the CR17 campaign, this raising suspicion of money laundering, has merit," Mkhwebane says in her statement. 

Mkhwebane said she is of the view that there is merit to the allegation of money laundering, but that she has referred the matter to the relevant institution to investigate. 


19 Jul 11:11

In another damning finding, Mkhwebane has found that Ramaphosa also breached the Executive Ethics Code by failing to disclose financial interest accrued to him as a result of the donations received towards the CR17 campaign.


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Mkhwebane has also found that Ramaphosa violated the Executive Ethics Code in that he exposed himself to a situation involving the risk of conflict between himself and his son, through businesses owned by AGO. 

"In light of the evidence before me, it can be safely concluded that the campaign pledges towards the CR17 campaign were some form of sponsorship, and that they were direct financial sponsorship or assistance from non-party sources other than a family member or permanent companion and were therefore benefits of a material nature," Mkhwebane said. 

She added that because Ramaphosa benefitted from the campaign proceeds personally, he was duty-bound to declare such financial benefit accruing to him. 

"Failure to disclose the said material benefits, including a donation from AGO (Bosasa), constitutes a breach of the code."


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Mkhwebane says her office has found that President Cyril Ramaphosa "deliberately misled" Parliament when he was asked about the donation from Bosasa/AGO.


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Mkhwebane: "The approach to the investigation is quite standard. We look at what happened, we use a blow-by-blow account of who did what, when...We then look at what should have happened, which covers the standards that ought to have been upheld by the person alleged to have engaged in wrongdoing. These standards would include policies, laws and the Constitution, among other prescripts."


19 Jul 10:48

19 Jul 10:48

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