CR17 bank records to remain sealed after Pretoria high court ruling

20 July 2021 - 11:47
By shonisani tshikalange AND Shonisani Tshikalange
President Cyril Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign bank records remain sealed. File photo.
Image: Masi Losi President Cyril Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign bank records remain sealed. File photo.

The Pretoria high court has ruled against the unsealing of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s “CR17” campaign bank records.

The campaign preceded his election as president of the ANC in 2017.

The application was dismissed with costs.

The EFF had asked the court to lift a seal on the information that was placed by Aubrey Ledwaba, deputy judge president of the Gauteng division of the high court.

The records were obtained by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane during her CR17 investigation. She handed the records to the high court when the president challenged her report.

Under the rules of court, documents submitted to court usually puts them in the public domain. This time however, at the request of Ramaphosa’s lawyers, Ledwaba sealed the bank statements from the public, saying if anyone wished to challenge this they could raise it “in court”.

Judge Cassim Sardiwalla said the issues raised in the application were not new. He was unable to identify any right on behalf of the EFF or the interests of justice that warranted the disclosure.

Sardiwalla said he also could not find a compelling reason why the material should be disclosed to the public at large.

“The applicant [EFF] has not advanced any public or private good that will be served by public disclosure as against the personal danger in which parties of the CR17 campaign concerned and their activities will be placed,” he said.