By BO Staff Writer
On Friday the Public Protector (PP) Busisiwe Mkhwabane released her report on the conduct of President Cyril Ramaphosa relating to the Bosasa saga. The evidence against Ramaphosa is damning. It shows that his conduct is criminal, unconstitutional, and unbecoming of a President of South Africa. It further suggests state capture by big business interests.
The radical black consciousness organization, Black First Land First (BLF), has welcomed the findings of the Public Protector. It called for Ramaphosa to “do the right thing and step down”. In a statement issued yesterday, the movement said:
“Ramaphosa used money obtained through corrupt ways to buy the African National Congress (ANC) elective conference of December 2017 so as to emerge as the President. This means his Presidency was obtained through unlawful actions. Ramaphosa lied to parliament to conceal the unlawful acts associated with his campaign sponsored by white monopoly capital (WMC)”.
Black Opinion highlights the material aspects of the PP’s findings and remedial action below.
1. Ramaphosa misled the National Assembly (NA) deliberately regarding the R500 000 donation made by Bosasa’s Gavin Watson, in responding to a question that the DA leader Mmusi Maimane, asked him.
2. Ramaphosa violated the ‘Code of Ethics and Disclosure of Members’ Interests for Assembly and Permanent Council Members’ (Code of Ethics) by:
a. exposing himself to a “situation involving the risk of a conflict between his official responsibilities and his private interests”
b. using “his position to enrich himself and his son through businesses owned by AGO”
c. failing to disclose the financial interest that accrued to him from the donations received in relation to the CR17 campaign.
3. There is merit in the allegation of money laundering regarding the donation of R500 000 made by Bosasa, because it went through many intermediaries before being received into the CR17 trust account.
4. Between December 2016 and January 2018 an amount in excess of R191m was transferred into the CR17 campaign account
5. About the same sum of money (R191m) was transferred from the CR17 campaign account in the course of the same period.
6. Three sums of money were transferred into the CR17 campaign account by the same donor being about R31m, around R39m, and in excess of R51m.
7. The “exchanges of large sums of money,” which were in some instances “received from private companies” suggests state capture by the donors to the campaign.
8.:The pledges to the CR17 campaign were from “non party sources other than a family member or permanent companion and were therefore benefits of a material nature”.
The PP directed that the impropriety of Ramaphosa as indicated her report must be met with appropriate remedial action as contemplated in section 182(1)(c) of the Constitution. The said remedial action includes the following:
9. The Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) shall within the period of 30 working days of receipt of the PP’s Report:
i. refer Ramaphosa’s violation of the Code of Ethics to the ‘Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests’ for their consideration in respect of paragraph 10 of the said Code.
ii. demand that all donations received by Ramaphosa be published, because by virtue of being the Deputy President at the relevant time, he is obliged to give disclosure of such financial interests into the ‘Members’ registerable interests register’ in line with his obligations of transparency and accountability.
10. The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) shall within the period of 30 working days of receipt of the PP’s Report, investigate further and deal with “the prima face evidence of the money laundering” as as indicated in the said report.
11. The National Commissioner of the South African Police Services (SAPS) shall within the period of 30 working days of receipt of the PP’s Report investigate the criminal conduct of Mr Gavin Watson regarding his contravention of section 11(3) of the Public Protector Act, 23 of 1994 and him lying under oath.
Enforceability of remedial action in terms of PP’s Report
The remedial action against the President is legally binding on him unless a Court orders otherwise. This is in kilter with Constitutional Court jurisprudence.
Read the full report of the PP here.