Ramaphosa vs Mkhwebane: PP insists Bosasa report is above board as president flags 'unlawful' activity

President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has raised questions about where Public Protector Busisiwe 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.

On Friday, it emerged that Ramaphosa had approached the Gauteng High Court in a bid to have certain bank statement in her report sealed and not made available to the public.

READ: Ramaphosa asks court to seal certain documents in Public Protector's Bosasa report

In the lawyer’s letter, which News24 has seen, the president’s lawyers argue that there are questions about where some bank statements came from and how they would have landed in the possession of the Public Protector.

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.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko told News24 that some of the documents belong to private entities and on that basis should remain confidential, as emphasised in the lawyer's letter.

Protecting privacy of private entities

"It is our view that the documents are unrelated to the complaint the Public Protector was investigating and were or may have been obtained unlawfully.

"Since she improperly broadened her investigation into what are private entities not subject to her purview it is only appropriate that their privacy be protected as the law allows," said Diko.

She further said the Public Protector is bound to keep the documents confidential in line with the Public Protector’s own rules and the Protection of Private Information Act.

"The Protection of Private Info Act is to protect against publication of unlawfully obtained information and the PP is not exempt from that act. 

"If it was illegal as we contend for the Public Protector to even look at them, how can their private info not be protected?" Diko added.

Mkhwebane's spokesperson Oupa Segalwe however said the investigation was above board.

"The PP conducted the investigation by the book. There was no [un]lawful activity," Segalwe told News24.

Once filed in court, the documents become public information which would be available to everyone, Segalwe said.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
Voting Booth
Children between 12 and 17 can now be vaccinated against Covid-19. As a parent I am:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Relieved, it's been a long wait to this point
51% - 2695 votes
A bit hesitant, and will wait to see how it goes
21% - 1126 votes
Completely against my child getting the shot
28% - 1503 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.