Presidency: Mkhwebane didn’t give evidence of emails to Ramaphosa

Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko said the Public Protector never furnished the president with copies of the emails she referred to in her report, yet emails were now surfacing in the media.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane at the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg on 22 July 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko on Monday said it was curious that the Public Protector didn't give the president evidence of her alleged emails on his campaign funding and now emails on the issue had been leaked.

Speaking to 702 on Monday, Diko maintained the president did not lie when he answered the question on the R500,000 funding from Bosasa.

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She said Ramaphosa did not flout any laws in soliciting funding for his African National Congress campaign even though he would, as revealed in the emails, intervene when the campaign needed him to "unblock funding".

This follows emails leaked over the weekend published by News24 that revealed how the CR17 campaign raised funds for Ramaphosa.

The emails also reveal that the president was consulted by his campaign managers about who to raise funds from.

Diko said the Public Protector never furnished the president with copies of the emails she referred to in her report, yet emails were now surfacing in the media.

“So, it’s very curious that after that report is published, emails - which I assume were obtained illegally - are now distributed. We trust that when she puts her record to the court, we will know which emails she is referring to.”

She maintained the president didn’t lie to Parliament nor did he break any laws.

“He has not denied that he had been approached to get guidance and was asked to unblock where there needed to be unblocking but the question we are answering is that every intention was to keep information away from President Ramaphosa.”

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Diko said the president had no problem disclosing information but the rule must apply to all politicians.

“The president is not opposed to disclosure provided there is something that compels such disclosure but there is no law that the president has broken. But if South Africans say should we have a law that compels disclosure I don’t think the president would reject such a notion.”

The president maintained he wouldn’t have known all the donors for his campaign.

The Presidency said Ramaphosa was not part of the day-to-day fundraising for funds for his presidential campaign.

Diko said: "We reject any assertion that President Ramaphosa would have lied to Parliament or the South African people. The president did address fundraising dinners where a number of donors would have been there and, yes, he was asked from time to time to give guidance but at no point did President Ramaphosa became part of the day-to-day fundraising or soliciting of funds.

"All of this is smoke and mirrors to try and create the impression that there is something illegal that has happened. Even if the president had known, there is nothing in our law that compels him to have disclosed those particular donors."