Ramaphosa: Mkhwebane has overstepped her powers
President Cyril Ramaphosa said that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane had violated the Public Protectors Provisions Act in her findings against him.
Ramaphosa said that after consulting his legal team, he has the view that Mkhwebane’s report was fundamentally and irretrievably flawed and she had overstepped her powers.
The Public Protector issued a report last week against Ramaphosa, saying he had misled Parliament regarding the R500,000 donation from Bosasa for his presidential campaign.
Mkhwebane was facing yet another court challenge as Ramaphosa accused her of violating her own powers in her remedial action against him.
Ramaphosa said that Mkhwebane’s report on the controversial Bosasa donation was factually flawed and lacked a sound legal basis.
“The report contains numerous factual inaccuracies, irrational and in some instances, it exceeds the scope of the powers of the Public Protector.”
The president was seeking an urgent judicial review on the report which found that he misled Parliament.
Ramaphosa said he believed that the courts would arrive at a different conclusion.
“And being principled means that we’ll be taking this report under review and approaching our court, which we’re allowed to do.”
Ramaphosa said that by taking this action he wanted to protect the integrity of the office he held.
WATCH: PP findings against me are wrong in law – Ramaphosa
Ramaphosa said he would approach the courts as a matter of urgency to have Mkhwebane’s report reviewed. He said he was taking this action because he believed the Public Protector’s findings against him were wrong.
“After careful study, I have concluded that the report is fundamentally and irretrievably flawed. This is strongly confirmed by my legal representatives,” he said.
“The report contains numerous factual inaccuracies of material nature. The findings are wrong in law, are irrational and, in some instances, exceed the scope of the powers of the Public Protector.”
Ramaphosa said at stake were the credibility of his office and that 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,” Ramaphosa said.
The president said while he respected the Office of Public Protector, it was imperative that this matter was resolved by the courts.
“I am taking this action in the firm belief that the president is not above the law, and nor is the Public Protector. The Public Protector is equally bound by the law and, like the president, is answerable to the provisions of the Constitution.”
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)