PP wanted to find Ramaphosa liable for wrongdoing at any cost, lawyers argue

This was during their submissions on Thursday at the Constitutional Court as the matter over the CR17 campaign fundraising continues.

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

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa’s lawyers have painted a picture of how Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane wanted to find him liable for wrongdoing at any cost.

This was during their submissions on Thursday at the Constitutional Court as the matter over the CR17 campaign fundraising continues.

The Public Protector and others have applied for direct leave to appeal at the court following Ramaphosa’s victory at the Pretoria High Court.

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He had sought to review and set aside the Public Protector’s report that recommended he be investigated for among others money laundering through his campaign for the African National Congress presidency.

Advocate Wim Trengove, who represented Ramaphosa, told the court that Mkhwebane made two very obvious errors that even a junior lawyer wouldn’t have made.

This was when she concluded that the president had deliberately misled Parliament about the donations he received during that time.

“A variety of renditions of the same provision, which is a symptom of recklessness, but the second is, that she conflated the evidence of deliberate or inadvertent conduct.”

Advocate Thembeka Ngcukaitobi described Mkhwebane’s reasoning as a breath-taking fallacy.

He added that there was no analysis of facts in the report, which failed to recognise that the fundraising for the ANC presidency in 2017 was an autonomous process to that of his position as deputy president at the time.

“That finding is also persistent with by our learned friends in their heads of argument; they also made reference to the fact that their monies were paid through to the Cyril Ramaphosa trust fund campaign account. So, that is the first basis that was concluded to be of personal interest funds that belonged to the president.”

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