EFF on CR17 Public Protector ruling: Different laws for citizens and for Ramaphosa
Durban - The EFF said Tuesday’s ruling of the North Gauteng High Court regarding the R500 000 donation to the CR17 campaign fund is bizarre.
As a result of that, the party said it will now take the legal fight to the Constitutional Court, the highest court of the land.
In a statement issued hours after the court set aside Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report on the matter, the EFF argued that the court effectively ruled that President Cyril Ramaphosa did not benefit from the fund.
The CR17 campaign was created ahead of the 2017 ANC Nasrec conference while Ramaphosa was wrestling with Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma for the presidency of the ruling party. The campaign received a tainted R500 000 donation from Bosasa.
It was that funding that got Ramaphosa in trouble as he gave two different versions in a parliamentary reply when former DA leader Mmusi Maimane quizzed him about it.
Now the EFF says it is absurd for the court to rule that he did not benefit from the fund when it helped him to bag the presidency of the party that paved the way for him to be the country’s president.
“We reject the logic that Ramaphosa did not personally benefit from the CR17 campaign funds. We also reject the conclusion that he therefore did not have to declare the funds of the CR17 campaign to parliament. How is that MPs are expected to declare simple items costing a few thousands in rands, yet a man who received billions in funding from key and powerful business individuals in the country to become president of the ruling party does not have to declare? How is that a court of law can logically say such a person did not benefit personally when the billions worked to campaign for him to become a president in his personal capacity?,” the EFF asked.
Still voicing its irritation regarding the ruling, the EFF accused the court of handing down a ruling that stripped parliament of its dignity. It said the ruling will allow people to come before it to lie and get away with it.
“The finding that Ramaphosa did not mislead parliament is not only ridiculous, it exposes the court as an institution complicit in weakening parliament. From here on, none, from members of the executive to state bureaucrats who come to account to parliament will ever respect the principle to not lie under oath. They will no longer fear parliament or respect the things they say in sittings,” the party further charged.
In its harsh statement, the party said by approaching the Constitutional Court, it wanted it (Concourt) to either correct the principle of equality for all before the law or join the North Gauteng High Court in shredding the principle for good.
“Appealing this judgement therefore means, we seek to give the highest court in the land the opportunity to either correct the unreasonableness of the Gauteng North High Court, or join in obliterating the principles of equality before the law, transparency and accountability. Let the Constitutional Court also participate in sealing documents and hiding information against the constitutional principle of access to information.”