Maimane on the DA's complicated relationship with Mkhwebane: 'It's not your office, it's you'

2019-07-22 20:29
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Thapelo Morebudi, Gallo Images)

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Thapelo Morebudi, Gallo Images)

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While DA leader Mmusi Maimane is pleased with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's finding regarding President Cyril Ramaphosa's campaign funding, he still thinks she should go.

Speaking on the sidelines of a safety event in Bonteheuwel, Cape Town, on Monday, Maimane said he was the one who had laid a complaint about Ramaphosa's campaign funding with the Office of the Public Protector. 

He noted this was after he had first asked the question in Parliament, and Ramaphosa said it was "his son's contribution", but then changed his statement. 

ALSO READ: Public Protector finds Ramaphosa 'deliberately misled' Parliament over R500 000 Bosasa payment

"Now, the Executive Members' Ethics Act makes it specific that when there is an allegation of a breach [of the act], that can only be reported to the Public Protector.

"It cannot be reported to any other sphere of the government."

The DA has made it clear that it does not regard Mkhwebane as a suitable candidate for the position of Public Protector, and Maimane said the Absa-related judgment supported this. 

On Monday, the Constitutional Court upheld a costs order against Mkhwebane alleging she had put forward a "number of falsehoods" over the Absa/Bankorp investigation. Mkhwebane has since denied this.

"I have been very clear from the beginning with the party that we do not support this particular Public Protector and therefore in light of the judgment that was handed down today, I think it strengthens our case to have her removed," said Maimane.

"But just because I did not vote for her, just because I don't support her, does not mean the office ceases to exist," he said. 

"I did not vote for President Ramaphosa in the election, yet, because he's a president of the republic, he becomes the president of all citizens. His office exists. We have to hold everybody accountable, regardless of who they are." 

Maimane said he welcomed Ramaphosa's announcement on Sunday night that he would take Mkhwebane's report on review, because it is Ramaphosa's right to do that.

However, the party still wants to get to the bottom of whether or not the president had misled Parliament. 

"The president made a statement and proceeded to change it, can that be allowed?" asked Maimane.

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Read more on:    da  |  public protector  |  busisiwe mkhwebane  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  mmusi maimane  |  politics
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