ANC welcomes Ramaphosa's decision to study public protector report before deciding on action

20 July 2019 - 17:30 By Qaanitah Hunter
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that President Cyril Ramaphosa misled parliament in his response to a question about a R500,000 donation from Bosasa for his presidential campaign in 2017. File photo.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that President Cyril Ramaphosa misled parliament in his response to a question about a R500,000 donation from Bosasa for his presidential campaign in 2017. File photo.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

The ANC says it welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to first study public protector Busiswe Mkhwebane’s report that has found against him before deciding on how to take the matter forward. 

In a brief statement issued on Saturday, party spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party noted the report that found Ramaphosa had deliberately misled parliament and violated the executive code and the constitution. 

“The ANC welcomes the position taken by President Ramaphosa to study the public protector’s report and make a decision on any further action which may include but not be limited to judicial review,” Mabe said. 

Ramaphosa’s office hinted that the president may take the report on review after they said it was unfortunate that Mkhwebane did not consider representations he made in response to the draft report.

Mabe said both Ramaphosa and the ANC respected the office of the public protector and appreciated the essential role it needed to play in promoting accountability. 

“The ANC is further emboldened by President Ramaphosa’s unwavering commitment and determination to fight all forms of corruption and malfeasance,” he said. 

Mkhwebane first found that Ramaphosa deliberately misled the National Assembly on November 6 when he was asked about a donation made to his campaign by Bosasa. Ramaphosa said this was incomprehensible because he did not know about the donation.

The public protector further found that Ramphosa was in breach of the provisions of the Executive Ethics Code because he deliberately misled parliament and “he should have allowed himself sufficient time to research a well-informed response”. 

Ramaphosa told Mkhwebane that this finding was unfair. 

Mkhwebane said that even though Ramaphosa’s conduct was “ostensibly in good faith”, it was inconsistent with his office as a member of the cabinet and a violation of the constitution.

Ramaphosa rejected this and argued that the public protector’s censure  “of the president’s conduct in parliament in good faith would be in breach of the Constitution and unlawful”.

Mkhwebane’s damning findings against Ramaphosa continued. She found that Ramaphosa violated the Executive Ethics Code and exposed himself to a conflict of interest “between his official responsibilities and his private interests” and used his position to enrich himself and his son through a business owned by African Global Operations- formerly known as Bosasa.

Mkhwebane has ordered parliament to take action on the report.


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