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Confusion on scope of Public Protector probe into CR17 campaign donation

The Public Protector's office said during interviews with both the DA and Cyril Ramaphosa's 2017 team, they were made aware of the exact scope of the investigation.

ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the closing address at the party’s 54th national conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg on 21 December 2017. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Public Protector's office said it found it bizarre that both the Democratic Alliance (DA) and President Cyril Ramaphosa's campaign manager denied they asked for the scope of Busisiwe Mkhwebane's investigation to include possible money laundering.

Eyewitness News has seen the original letter sent to Mkhwebane's office in November last year in which DA leader Mmusi Maimane specifically asked her to investigate the suspicion of money laundering.

But on Monday morning, the Business Day was reporting that the DA has denied this.

In the original request sent to the Public Protector in November last year, the DA had asked for an investigation into a R500,000 donation to Ramaphosa's presidential campaign by embattled Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.

The Public Protector's spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said during interviews with both the DA and Ramaphosa's 2017 campaign team, they were made aware of the exact scope of the investigation.

He said neither of them questioned the inclusion of possible money laundering of funds in the probe.

“We’ve just been informed also that the DA is also saying they don’t want us to investigate that; they want just the lying, that’s very strange.”

Meanwhile, Ramaphosa's former campaign manager James Motlatsi has strongly denied any allegations of money laundering.

“We agreed that we’re not going to involve Cyril on our campaign because we didn’t want Cyril to be accountable to any funding as far as we’re concerned.”

The Public Protector's office says she will apply her mind on how to take the investigation forward.

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