Ramaphosa believes Mkhwebane unlawfully obtained leaked emails

The president said it would be in the interest of justice for the emails to be kept confidential, until the issue relating to how Busisiwe Mkhwebane obtained them is resolved.

President Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament on 17 July 2019. Picture: @PresidencyZA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa said he believes the emails Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane relied on in her Bosasa report were unlawfully obtained.

Ramaphosa has asked the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to seal certain documents contained in Mkhwebane’s report.

He said certain bank statements in Mhwebane’s report contain confidential information which belongs to third parties.

Mkhwebane found that the president misled Parliament in his response to a question about a R500,000 donation from Bosasa for his 2017 African National Congress (ANC) presidential campaign.

She also said that the huge amounts of money donated to Ramaphosa’s campaign raised questions over money laundering and state capture.

The president said it would be in the interest of justice for the emails to be kept confidential, until the issue relating to how Mkhwebane obtained them is resolved.

The Office of the Presidency said the point of the Protection Of Private Information Act is to protect against the publication of unlawfully obtained information and the public protector is not exempt from this.

It has also accused Mkhwebane of improperly broadening her Bosasa investigation into the private matters of Ramaphosa.

The Presidency said Mkhwebane's own rules require that she treat information she receives during investigations as confidential.

Spokesperson Khusela Diko said it's only appropriate that the privacy of the documents she obtained be protected as per the law.

Diko has also accused the public protector of having failed to share the emails she obtained and relied on with the president, saying Ramaphosa should have been afforded the opportunity to see them.