South Africa: Ramaphosa Must Not Use Public Funds to Defend Himself - Maimane

President Cyril Ramaphosa at a Mandela Day event at the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital in Rondebosch, Cape Town.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane says Cyril Ramaphosa must give assurances he will not be using public funds to defend himself, after the president announced on Sunday evening he would seek an urgent judicial review of the Public Protector's report into funds relating to his ANC presidential campaign.

On Friday, Busisiwe Mkhwebane found Ramaphosa "deliberately misled" Parliament when he responded to a question about a R500 000 donation to his 2017 ANC presidential campaign from former Bosasa boss Gavin Watson in November last year.

She also said his campaign needed to be the subject of a money laundering investigation, and Ramaphosa should declare all donations received during his campaign.

On Sunday, Ramaphosa announced he would be taking Mkhwebane's report on judicial review after his legal team had carefully studied it and concluded it was "fundamentally and irretrievably flawed".

In a series of tweets, Maimane wrote the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) should be given time to also investigate.

"Let the NPA investigate and let's determine if there can be a different outcome. Furthermore, my call for an ad hoc committee still stands. Parliament must hold the president to account regardless of who occupies the office without fear or prejudice," he tweeted.

The DA leader also said it was important for Parliament to establish for itself whether Ramaphosa misled it while answering questions regarding the R500 000 donation.

Maimane's spokesperson, Azola Mboniswa, said the DA would hold a media briefing on Monday at noon in Cape Town, where Maimane is expected to give a more comprehensive reaction to Ramaphosa's announcement.

Meanwhile, The ANC's national spokesperson, Pule Mabe, told the SABC in an interview on Sunday the party stands by its statement issued on Saturday that said it had noted the release of the Public Protector's report.

"President Ramaphosa's reaffirmation of his respect for the Office of the Public Protector and his appreciation of the essential role it needs to play in promoting accountability and advancing the interests of the South African people is consistent with the views of the ANC on all chapter nine institutions.

"The ANC has full confidence in President Ramaphosa's ability to champion efforts of building the South Africa we want free from disunity and underdevelopment," the statement read.

Source: News24

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