Ramaphosa and Mkhwebane lock horns over R500K Bosasa donation
Johannesburg - Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba has been asked to crack the whip if President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Protector Busi Mkhwebane fail to file their papers on time in the President’s review application over the Bosasa report.
This was a request to Ledwaba by Judge Peter Mabuse on Monday, after the President successfully filed an urgent application to interdict the public protector from implementing her remedial action.
The remedial action in question involves a R500000 donation Ramaphosa is said to have received from Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson for his ANC presidential campaign in October 2017.
The order by Mabuse further stated that the legal counsel, for both parties, had to first agree on the dates to file the records and further papers for the review application.
Constitutional law expert advocate Paul Hoffman SC weighed in on the ruling, saying the review application would compel Mkhwebane to make available the records and documents she used to prepare her report.
Hoffman further said he anticipated clashes between the parties before the matter can be fully heard in court.
“They are likely to fight over which documents should be made public and those that should be kept secret. The court will be asked to rule on whether the public protector got it right or whether her remedial actions were rational,” Hoffman said.
But political analyst Aubrey Matshiqi held a different view.
“It is my view, if the president’s review application succeeds, it will not assist him at all as he is already suffering political damage due to the email leaks,” Matshiqi said.
His sentiments were also echoed by another analyst, Xolani Dube.
“In the public and political domain, the interdict has no relevance. The real issue is between Ramaphosa and the ANC, as well as him and the South African public.”
The donation by Watson became a subject of Mkhwebane’s investigations following complaints lodged by DA leader Mmusi Maimane in November last year, and EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu in January this year.
At the time, Maimane had also asked Mkhwebane to probe the possibility of money laundering on the part of the president.
In her report, released last month, Mkhwebane said she found Ramaphosa had misled Parliament in his reply, in November last year, to a question by Maimane and, in her proposed remedial actions, ordered that National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise refer her findings to Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests, and to demand publication of all donations received by Ramaphosa.
She also asked the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) advocate Shamila Batohi to investigate prima facie evidence of money laundering, while National Police Commissioner Kehla Sitole was asked to investigate criminal conduct against Watson.
On Monday Mkhwebane’s legal counsel Theo Seanego and Ramaphosa’s lawyer Ndumiso Luthuli presented a draft order to Judge Mabuse, which put the entire report on ice. Mkhwebane’s spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said the parties had not yet agreed on the date to file papers but said Mkhwebane would oppose the review application.