VBS vs CR17 scandals: 'Where is the consistency over bank statements? - Mkhwebane

2019-10-24 17:12
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Tebogo Letsie, Gallo Images)

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Tebogo Letsie, Gallo Images)

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has questioned why the details of private bank statements of some people who are said to have benefited from the VBS Mutual Bank scandal were published, but the CR17 fund records were sealed by the courts.

Addressing students at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) south campus in Soshanguve, Pretoria on Thursday, Mkhwebane said: "Again, details of private bank statements of some people who are said to have benefited from the VBS scandal are published all the time.

"I don't speak for those accused, but why is it that no one has come forward to say it is wrong to publish such private information?"

"I pose these questions because when bank statements pertaining to a certain case of campaign funding are published, we see the courts going as far as to seal that information from the public without even having the case argued in an open court.

"We see the information regulator stepping in. Where is the consistency?"

Mkhwebane was addressing students about "good governance, accountability and transparency".

In July, Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa had deliberately misled Parliament when responding to a question about a R500 000 donation to his 2017 ANC presidential campaign. She recommended that the campaign be investigated for money laundering.

But Ramaphosa has taken that report on review, and has argued that Mkhwebane overstepped her authority by expanding her investigation from the R500 000 donation, to the financing of his entire campaign.

Ramaphosa had raised questions about where Mkhwebane received some of the bank statements contained in her Bosasa report, going as far as suggesting that she obtained them unlawfully.

Mkhwebane's office, however, maintains that her report is above board.

Ramaphosa had approached the Gauteng High Court in a bid to have certain bank statements in her report sealed and not made available to the public.

Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba later issued a directive which effectively sealed the file, until the dispute over the legality of the evidence could be resolved.

Read more on:    public protector  |  vbs mutual bank  |  busisiwe mkhwebane  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  judiciary  |  politics

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