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ANC notes PP's report against Ramaphosa, expresses full confidence in him

In a statement, the governing party said it welcomed the president's decision to study the public protector’s report before deciding on his course of action going forward.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa at the National Results Operation Centre during the election results announcement on 11 May. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) on Saturday said it had noted the release of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report, which found that President Cyril Ramaphosa misled Parliament over a R500,000 donation to his 2017 ANC presidential campaign from African Global Operations, previously known as Bosasa.

In a statement, the governing party said it had “full confidence in Ramaphosa’s ability to champion efforts of building the South Africa we want free from disunity and underdevelopment”.

The ANC also welcomed Ramaphosa’s decision to study the public protector’s report before deciding on his course of action going forward, which may include, but not limited, to judicial review.

“President Ramaphosa’s reaffirmation of his respect for the Office of the Public Protector and his appreciation of the essential role it needs to play in promoting accountability and advancing the interests of the South African people is consistent with the views of the ANC on all Chapter 9 institutions,” the statement stated.

Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa deliberately misled Parliament when he said in November last year that the donation was a payment from Bosasa to his son, Andile, for services rendered. The president later corrected that statement by acknowledging that it was in fact a donation to the fund which supported his efforts to be elected as president of the ANC.

Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa violated provisions of the Executive Ethics Code by deliberately misleading Parliament. She recommended in her remedial action that the Speaker of Parliament Thandi Modise should refer the matter to the ethics committee.

Mkhwebane also wants the National Prosecuting Authority to further investigate money laundering allegations, which she found to have had merit involving Ramaphosa’s campaign.

On Friday, Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said that Ramaphosa identified deficiencies in law and fact in the preliminary report but these were not included in the public protector’s final report.

“He will further study the final report and announce the action, if any, that he will take in relation to this matter moving forward. The president has reiterated his respect for the office of the Public Protector and appreciates a very important role of its place of safeguarding our constitutional democracy,” Diko said.

The ANC said Ramaphosa’s reaffirmation of his respect for the Office of the Public Protector and the essential role it needs to play in promoting accountability and advancing the interests of South Africans, was consistent with the views of the party on all Chapter nine institutions.

“The ANC is further emboldened by President Ramaphosa’s unwavering commitment and determination to fight all forms of corruption and malfeasance. The ANC has full confidence in President Ramaphosa’s ability to champion efforts of building the South Africa we want free from disunity and underdevelopment,” the statement read.

Additional reporting by Barry Bateman.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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