WATCH: Ramaphosa says PP report is fundamentally flawed, seeks review
In a report released on Friday, Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that President Cyril Ramaphosa deliberately misled Parliament with regards to the Bosasa donation, but on Sunday the president stated that her report was "fundamentally and irretrievably flawed".
PRETORIA - President Cyril Ramaphosa will seek a 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 African Global Operations, previously known as Bosasa.
In a media briefing on Sunday evening, the president stated, “It is essential that findings of Public Protector are based on fact, that they have sound legal basis, that they are rational and arrived at through a fair process. Unfortunately, this report fails to meet these standards. I have concluded the report is fundamentally and irretrievably flawed.”
#RAMAPHOSA: The Public Protector’s report is factually inaccurate, not based on fact and according to my legal team and in some instances she went over her scope.— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) July 21, 2019
#Ramaphosa: BREAKING NEWS: President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is taking Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s findings against him on judicial review as a matter of urgency.— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) July 21, 2019
#Ramaphosa says he respects the office of the public protector but he’s taking this action because at stake is the reputations of his office and that of the @PublicProtector— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) July 21, 2019
“the president is not above the law, nor is the public protector”...
WATCH: Ramaphosa addresses nation on Public Protector’s report
KEY FINDINGS BY PUBLIC PROTECTOR
In a report released on Friday, Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa deliberately misled Parliament and violated provisions of the Executive Ethics Code when he said in November 2018 that the R500,000 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 in December 2017.
Mkhwebane recommended in her remedial action that Ramaphosa should declare all donations received in his campaign. She also wants the Speaker of Parliament Thandi Modise to refer the matter to the ethics committee and the National Prosecuting Authority to further investigate allegations of money laundering allegations involving the campaign.
RESPONSES TO MKHWEBANE’S REPORT
Analysts have said the Public Protector’s damning report could boost Ramaphosa’s opponents within the ANC , which is riven by in-fighting.
Last Friday, the Democratic Alliance, which lodged the complained with the Office of Public Protector, called for Parliament to establish an ad hoc committee to look into the matter instead of the ethics committee as recommended by the Public Protector.
On Saturday, the ANC said it had noted Mkhwebane’s report but expressed “full confidence” in his efforts to fight corruption and unite the country. The governing party also welcomed the president’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.