South Africa`s Ramaphosa seeks judicial review of graft watchdog`s allegations

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is seen during a press briefing held at her offices 4 December 2017 Pretoria

Fight between Ramaphosa and the public protector turns ugly

Cyril Ramaphosa, who succeeded Zuma as president of the ruling ANC and of the country in a divisive contest, said Sunday he would take Mkhwebane to court over a separate report that found he had misled parliament about a donation to his campaign fund.

Maimane said: "This matter goes far beyond what the president said in parliament, and it must be investigated..." But, he's not an MP. The agenda focused exclusively on the Public Protector's report, which implicated Ramaphosa in wrongdoing regarding a dubious R500 000 donation from infamous former Bosasa boss, Gavin Watson. He later admitted that it was a donation towards his campaign to become the ANC leader.

The briefing will take place on Sunday evening in Pretoria and will see Ramaphosa address Mkhwebane's findings that he violated the Executive Ethics Code.

Ramaphosa said he instructed his legal team to immediately launch a judicial review of the report.

She also said the way in which one donation - from a company which is under investigation for paying bribes to receive major government contracts - was handled raised a suspicion of money-laundering and referred the issue to prosecutors for investigation.

The President said the findings that the Public Protector has made against him are serious.

They allege conduct that can not - and should not - be taken lightly.

Ramaphosa has described the critical report as fundamentally and irretrievably flawed, adding that he had partial knowledge of the fundraising details of his campaign to be president of his African National Congress party.

The President said it was unfortunate that the report released by the Public Protector fails to satisfy these crucial requirements. This is strongly confirmed by my legal representatives.

"This court accordingly concludes that the punitive aspect of the cost order against the public protector must stand", the constitutional court said in Monday's ruling.

Ramaphosa said at stake were the credibility of his office and that of the Public Protector.

I have therefore chose to seek an urgent judicial review of the Public Protector's report, its findings and remedial action.

Ramaphosa explained that his application for an urgent judicial review was not meant to undermine the Public Protector's office - and was in no way a personal attack on Mkhwebane - but was purely an exercise in legal rights, to attain a fair and factual examination of the matter at hand.

However, Ramaphosa has told the public protector that she does not have the jurisdiction to investigate these charges and that her probe is "unlawful". "This is motivated instead by a determination that the law should be applied correctly and consistently", he said. She argues that because Modise failed to "admonish" the MPs who criticised Mkhwebane, Parliament failed in its constitutional obligation to uphold and protect the Public Protector.

Latest News