Public Protector wants NPA to probe donation to CR17 campaign
Johannesburg - Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane has instructed the National Prosecuting Authority to investigate money laundering related to a R500 000 donation received by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his ANC presidential campaign in 2017.
Further, Mkhwebane has given National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise 30 days to report Ramaphosa to Parliament's ethics committee for impropriety after she revealed that the country's number one had violated the executives' ethics code when he failed to declare his financial interests relating to the donation.
Issuing a list of remedial actions ought to be taken following her investigations and the release of her report at her offices on Friday, Mkhwebane ordered the "the publication of all donations received by President Ramaphosa" stating that because he was a deputy president at the time, he had an obligation to "declare such financial interests into the Members’ registerable interests register in the spirit of accountability and transparency."
National Police Commissioner Khehla Sitole has also been given 30 days to conduct a criminal investigation against Bosasa boss Gavin Watson for allegedly lying to her under oath.
The investigations by Mkhwebane were conducted after she received a complaint from Maimane in November last year stating that half a million had been paid into the into a bank account referred to as “EFG2”, allegedly a trust foundation account belonging to Ramphosa's son, Andile. She highlighted that the paper trail began when Watson's paid the money into Miotto Trading, a company which is said to be closely associated with Bosasa before it was transferred to the “EFG2” bank account.
It also emerged that on various occasions money was moved around between accounts with above R200 million being collected for the CR17 campaign.
In her report, Mkhwebane said in his documents, Maimane had received sworn confirmation from Bosasa employee Peet Venter, detailing that he had been requested by Watson to deposit money into Ramaphosa's jnr account.
She also said that the president had issued a reply to her investigation stating at one instance that he was not involved in the fundraising process for the CR17 campaign and that there were campaign managers who were responsible for it. He stated that he only got to learn about the alleged payment from one of his advisers.
She also said that like Maimane, she had received a complain from EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu that the President had breached the ethics code.
Mkhwabne's investigation also extended to ascertaining whether there was an improper relationship between Ramaphosa, his family and Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations, due to the nature of the R500 000,00 payment passing through several entities instead of straight to the CR17 campaign.
The manner, in which the donation was made, she said raised suspicion of money laundering.