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Mkhwebane had no jurisdiction to probe CR17 fundraising - court

This emerged during the judgment of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s now successful bid to review and set aside the Public Protector’s findings against him.

FILE: Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Pretoria High Court has ruled that the Public Protector had no jurisdiction to investigate the CR17 campaign’s fundraising, saying she had no powers to do so.

This emerged during the judgment of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s now successful bid to review and set aside the Public Protector’s findings against him.

This related to a R500,000 donation to his campaign to be African National Congress (ANC) leader received from African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa.

The judgment by the full bench of the High Court agreed with President Ramaphosa’s argument that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's misdirected conflation and confusion between public and private affairs permeated throughout her Bosasa report.

Reading out the ruling, Judge Elias Matojane outlined the powers of the Public Protector, stating that her jurisdiction was limited to matters involving public administration, state affairs, the exercise of public power and public funds.

He also contended that these wide-reaching powers, however, did not include the investigation of internal party political activities such as the raising of funds through the CR17 campaign.

"The investigation into the CR17 campaign was an essential element of her findings on that issue. Her investigation and subsequently her findings are thus unlawful."

The ruling further rejected Mkhwebane’s reliance on her constitutional powers, which she insisted gave her the power to investigate any conduct.

WATCH: Court: Ramaphosa didn’t intentionally mislead Parliament on CR17 funding