South Africa: Mkhwebane's Posture Long Indicated a Negative Finding On Ramaphosa - SACP

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's findings that President Cyril Ramaphosa misled Parliament with regards to a donation to his campaign for party leader was not surprising, the SACP said shortly after the announcement.

On Friday morning, Mkhwebane released the findings of her investigation into a R500 000 donation from Bosasa boss Gavin Watson to Ramaphosa's campaign for ANC president in 2017.

The Office of the Public Protector found that Ramaphosa's actions were inconsistent with his office as deputy president at the time, News24 reported.

Mkhwebane also found Ramaphosa had breached the executive ethics code by failing to disclose a financial interest accrued to him as a result of the donations received for the so-called CR17 campaign.

SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said her posture indicated all along she was destined for a negative finding.

"The SACP expressed its reservations a while ago about the manner in which Mkhwebane conducts herself and the affairs of the absolutely important Office of the Public Protector. The material basis of the concern is found in the damning court judgments against her.

"This includes the reasonable apprehension of bias, disingenuousness and unconstitutional conduct found by the court of law in her work, directly resulting in the SACP calling on Parliament to conduct an inquiry into her fitness to hold office."

The party said it would take its "cue from the courts as the final arbiters".

"The SACP fully respects the legal and constitutional rights of those adversely affected, and will, in this regard, take its cue from the courts as the final arbiters."

Last month, the party's second deputy general-secretary, Solly Mapaila, described Mkhwebane as the "hired gun of the fight back agenda". The Public Protector's office hit back, saying Mapaila's attack was "premised on the tired and unproven narrative that advocate Mkhwebane is involved in the factional battles of the governing party".

The investigation by Mkhwebane came after Ramaphosa was confronted by DA leader Mmusi Maimane with a signed affidavit by former Bosasa auditor Peet Venter, which revealed that a R500 000 payment was made into an attorney's trust account, EFG2, in October 2017.

Venter's affidavit stated the payment was for the Andile Ramaphosa Foundation but no such foundation exists.

Maimane asked Ramaphosa about the donation in the National Assembly.

Ramaphosa responded, saying he was aware his son was in business with Bosasa (now trading as African Global Operations) and the payment formed part of a contract.

But later that week, the president wrote a letter to then-speaker Baleka Mbete correcting his reply to Maimane, saying the R500 000 was in fact a donation from Watson to his so-called CR17 campaign.

The correction sparked a complaint from Maimane to the Public Protector who asked Mkhwebane to probe the donation and whether Ramaphosa lied to Parliament.

Source: News24

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