President Cyril Ramaphosa “deliberately misled” parliament about a R500,000 donation he received for his campaign to lead the African National Congress (ANC), the Public Protector said Friday.
Busisiwe Mkhwebane told reporters that Ramaphosa had violated the constitution and breached the Executive Ethics Code in his reply to parliament in November 2018.
Mkhwebane released her report on the Bosasa donation saga at her offices in Pretoria.
Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa’s actions were inconsistent with his office as deputy president at the time.
“Ramaphosa breached the Executive Ethics Code by failing to disclose financial interest accrued to him as a result of the donations received for his so-called ‘CR17’ campaign.”Busisiwe Mkhwebane
Mkhwebane initiated her investigation into Ramaphosa after the DA requested she probe the R500 000 donation.
This, after Ramaphosa initially responded to a question from DA leader Mmusi Maimane, saying the R500 000 was a payment to his son Andile for consultancy work.
Days later, he wrote a letter to the then National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete to amend his reply, saying it was actually a donation that had been made to his ANC presidential campaign, of which he had previously been unaware.
Maimane reacted by saying says that there are “substantive” allegations and this is about following the rule of the law.
“The law is the law, he said.
“It is time that parliament regain its teeth” Maimane said, restating that the president must submit himself to an ad hoc committee.
He added that Ramaphosa breached the Powers and Privileges Act which prescribes a fine or imprisonment.
The public protector said her office investigated 3 areas:
- Whether President Ramaphosa deliberately mislead Parliament
- Whether Ramaphosa exposed himself to any situation involving the risk of official duties and private interests
- Whether there is an improper relationship between the President and Bosasa
“I have come to the conclusion that there is merit to the allegation relating to the suspicion of money laundering as alluded to in the complaint lodged with my office,” Mkhwebane said.