President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS
President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS

CR17 campaign didn't have to disclose donors, court hears

By LOYISO SIDIMBA Time of article published Feb 4, 2020

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Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa was not obliged to declare donations to his CR17 ANC presidential campaign, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Tuesday.

Ramaphosa's counsel Wim Trengove told the high court that his client did not have information on who donated what to his successful campaign for the position of ANC president.

Trengove described Public Protector Busi Mkhwebane's contention that Ramaphosa should have declared the source of his campaign funds as "lopsided".

Arguing before a full bench of Judge-President Dunstan Mlambo, Judges Keoagile Matojane and Raylene Keightley, Trengove said it was completely unjustified for Mkhwebane and amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism to state that disclosure of funding for Ramaphosa's campaign was required.

amaBhungane have intervened in the matter but insist that they are not taking sides but want to uphold transparency.

Last year, Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa deliberately misled the National Assembly when he said he was not aware of a R500 000 donation to his son Andile  Ramaphosa from controversial company African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa.

He later told the national legislature that his son had a contract with Bosasa prompting former DA leader Mmusi Maimane to lodge a complaint with Mkhwebane, whose probe uncovered the hundreds of millions donated to Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign.

Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, for the president, told the court that Mkhwebane's investigation was outside her constitutional and legislative authority and that she fundamentally misunderstood the facts and came up with inaccurate findings.

Ramaphosa successfully interdicted the implementation of Mkhwebane's remedial action that Parliament take disciplinary action against him and now wants the report reviewed and set aside.

Arguments continue in the case.

Political Bureau

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