Ramaphosa asks court to seal 'unlawfully obtained' documents in Public Protector's Bosasa report

2019-08-09 12:30

President Cyril Ramaphosa has approached the Gauteng High Court in a bid to seal certain documents contained in Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's Bosasa report.

Ramaphosa, through a lawyer's letter from Harris Nupen Molebatsi Inc, which News24 has seen, said certain bank statements in her report contain confidential information belonging to third parties.

The papers submitted by the President's lawyers on Thursday suggest that some of the bank statements may have been obtained unlawfully.

Four bank accounts have been noted by Ramaphosa's lawyers, including his own foundation's account and, the EFG2 account, which housed Ramaphosa's ANC presidential campaign funds.

The other accounts are Linked Environmental Services and Ria Tenda Trust.

"It should be noted that the Public Protector is required to keep the information received during the course of her investigation confidential as outlined in Rule 7(1) of the Rules Relation to Investigations by the Public Protector," the letter reads.

The Public Protector last month found that Ramaphosa "misled" Parliament about the source of a R500 000 donation from controversial businessman Gavin Watson through Bosasa.

Ramaphosa has maintained that he was not directly involved in the fundraising efforts of his presidential campaign in 2017.

However, an email leaks exposé by News24 found that Ramaphosa had personally typed a note to what is believed to be his banker, instructing the transfer of R20m from a money market account (believed to belong to Ramaphosa) to an account belonging to the Ria Tenda Trust.

"The Public Protector does not state that she subpoenaed bank records from Standard Bank. Therefore, it is unclear how the Public Protector obtained the bank records of the Ria Tenda Trust," Ramaphosa's lawyers say.

His lawyers also maintain that Mkhwebane extended the scope of her investigation into the CR17 campaign donations saga.

"We have reason to believe that certain documents may have been unlawfully obtained… In the event that the record shows that bank statements were obtained unlawfully, we submit that the information contained in those documents must be protected from public disclosure in terms of the Protection of Personal Information Act."

The president's lawyers suspect Mkhwebane has a whistle blower, and have said that the information supplied "by the anonymous whistle blower, and the leaked emails which allegedly indicate that our client knew the identities of the donors of the CR17 campaign, only be made to the court and respondents", Ramaphosa's lawyers argue.

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Read more on:    bosasa  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  busisiwe mkhwebane  |  johannesburg
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