7 key quotes from Ramaphosa’s PP report briefing
The president said it was necessary for him to make a statement on the findings by the Public Protector into the Bosasa donation to his 2017 ANC presidential campaign and to reaffirm that the work he was elected to do in government would continue.
JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday said he would seek an urgent judicial review of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report which found that he misled Parliament over a R500,000 donation to his 2017 African National Congress presidential campaign from Bosasa.
Briefing the media in Pretoria, the president said it was essential that the courts review the report not only for him but to preserve the integrity of the Presidency. He said Mkhwebane’s report was "fundamentally and irretrievably flawed" in law.
Ramaphosa also said it was necessary that he should, as the country’s president, make a statement on the matter and reaffirm that the work he was elected to do would continue.
Here are seven key quotes from the president's briefing:
1. Decision to take report on review
"It should be a matter of concern for all South Africans that an office of such Constitutional consequence as that of the Public Protector should make findings of such a nature against the Head of State.
"It is therefore essential – as it should be in all investigations – that such findings are based on fact, that they have a sound legal basis, that they are rational and that they have been arrived at through a fair, impartial and lawful process. Unfortunately, the report released by the Public Protector fails to satisfy these crucial requirements.
"I have therefore decided to seek an urgent judicial review of the Public Protector’s report, its findings and remedial action. I have instructed my legal representatives to prepare an application to this effect as a matter of urgency."
2. Declaration of campaign funds
"So, did I disclose to my boss then? No. There was no need for anyone of those who were campaigning to disclose to each other because there was some measure of competition that was on the go and sometimes those who were raising money often went to the same source to raise money."
3. ANC presidential campaign funding
"Quite a bit of money was used, in fact, nearly all of it was used… you will find that nearly everyone who campaigned to become president of the ANC would have raised quite a bit of money. And it so happens we may never really know. The only one we know of now is the CR17 one."
4. Contestation within governing party
"The ANC in 2017 went through a very different type of campaigning for people to become president. We have never had a process like this before."
5. Details of campaign financing
"I never got to know all the other details that went into the funding of the campaign. Yes, I knew that money was being raised and as we explained in our documents, I even went to the fund-raising dinners."
6. Is Mkhwebane motivated by malice?
"Whether the Public Protector is motivated by malice, I’m not going to comment on that because I truly respect the office of the Public Protector."
"My decision to seek a judicial review of the report should not be seen as a comment on the person, competence or motives of the Public Protector, but is motivated instead by a determination that the law should be applied correctly and consistently. I am taking this action in the firm belief that the President is not above the law, and nor is the Public Protector."
7. Going forward
"We do not want this in any shape or form to distract us from doing our work. I want to continue to do the work I was elected to do and indeed this matter should never be a distraction."