Public Protector has ulterior motives for investigating me, says Ramaphosa

2019-09-17 09:33
President Cyril Ramaphosa (File, Daily Sun)

President Cyril Ramaphosa (File, Daily Sun)

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has reportedly questioned Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's political motives for investigating him for money laundering in relation to donations for his ANC presidential campaign.

According to Business Day, Ramaphosa believes Mkhwebane was motivated by an "ulterior purpose" in her inclusion of details of his ANC election bank accounts. These were reportedly irrelevant to her investigation into whether he misled Parliament about a R500 000 donation from facilities firm Bosasa.

Mkhwebane found Ramaphosa had violated the executive code of ethics by not declaring donations to his presidential campaign in 2017, News24 reported.

She also found the statesman had deliberately misled Parliament when he responded to a question in the National Assembly about the R500 000 donation from former Bosasa boss Gavin Watson.

'Factual inaccuracies'

Ramaphosa has since decided to take Mkhwebane's report, which found he had violated the executive code of ethics, on urgent judicial review. He said the report contained "numerous factual inaccuracies of a material nature" and was "fundamentally flawed".

Ramaphosa is not the first to question Mkhwebane's competence.

Fin24 previously reported that calls have intensified for Mkhwebane to be fired and that the DA was seeking to revive a parliamentary process to remove her from office.

Cope called for Mkhwebane's head, describing her as "incompetent".

Trade union federation Cosatu said Ramaphosa should set aside all Mkhwebane's reports until her competency and trustworthiness have been ascertained.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) also called for the Public Protector's reports to be set aside until her fitness to hold office has been reviewed.

According to Business Day's report, Ramaphosa accuses Mkhwebane of accessing "stolen", private and confidential emails linked to the campaign.

"It is my belief that these e-mails were stolen from the CR17 campaign computers. I call on the Public Protector to explain how and from whom she received these e-mails," Ramaphosa reportedly said in his affidavit, filed as part of his court bid to overturn Mkhwebane's report on his "CR17" campaign.

Ramaphosa reportedly argued that the probe was done without any legal basis and was not conducted "in good faith".

He says not one of Mkhwebane's findings was "supported by the evidence in the record".

Ramaphosa 'litigating through the media'

It was previously reported that Mkhwebane said Ramaphosa's lawyers were litigating "through the media", after it emerged that the president's legal team had accused Mkhwebane of unlawfully obtaining Financial Intelligence Centre information.

"It is so unfortunate that the same president's lawyers are litigating through the media and it is a challenge for us as an institution. They should not be perpetuating this unnecessary litigation through the media," she told journalists on September 11.

A calm and terse Mkhwebane said she would address all matters in court papers.

"We will address those issues when we prepare our response to court and we will present our position as far as that is concerned. This is a matter of law.

"The journalists should focus on what the law says about the conduct of our leaders and the issue of good governance, transparency and accountability, instead of us focusing on these issues and litigating through the media."

 - Compiled by Riaan Grobler

Read more on:    bosasa  |  public protector  |  busisiwe mkhwebane  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  politics  |  courts

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