Public Protector files Ramaphosa's ANC presidency campaign records in High Court

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. (Felix Dlangamandla, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's legal team has filed a record of the evidence she relied on in her report on President Cyril Ramaphosa's campaign for the ANC presidency and a R500 000 campaign donation from Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.

News24 understands the evidence, filed under Rule 53, includes the bank statements of the various entities involved in the campaign, as well as emails and correspondence that formed part of Mkhwebane's probe.

In terms of Rule 53 of the Uniform Rules of Court, a party who wants to have the courts review the decisions of another party can request that they produce the record which underpins that decision.

Ramaphosa has taken Mkhwebane's report, in which it was found that he deliberately misled Parliament in November last year, on review.

EXPLAINED: The politics of the Cyril Ramaphosa campaign for ANC leadership

The president was granted an interdict on Monday, unopposed by the Public Protector, preventing her from enforcing any of the remedial action in her report.

Directive

The record was filed with the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday morning.

Reporters at court on Wednesday were referred to the office of the deputy judge president, Aubrey Ledwaba.

It emerged from officials in his office that he had issued a directive, also on Wednesday, confining the file to his office. The status of the record is not clear at this stage.

Last week, attorneys for Ramaphosa wrote to Ledwaba, requesting that parts of the record be sealed to protect third party confidential information.

The letter, by attorney Peter Harris, also mentioned that the president's legal team believed some of the evidence relied on by Mkhwebane was "unlawfully obtained".

In the directive, seen by News24, lawyers representing Ramaphosa also wrote to Ledwaba on Tuesday, August 13.

They effectively requested that the record be sealed. 

“The Deputy Judge President has noted contents of the letters dated 8 August 2019 and 13 Auguest 2019 from Harris Nupen Molebatsi Attorneys,” Ledwaba writes in the directive. He says that since the issue around the records from the Public Protector’s office has not been resolved, the Rule 53 record must be filed with Ledwaba’s office by August 15, and not with the registrar, as would be the norm. 

This effectively seals the file.

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