The ANC has backed President Cyril Ramaphosa following Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report which found he violated the executive code of ethics by not declaring donations to his presidential campaign in 2017.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe on Saturday said the party noted the report, but welcomed Ramaphosa’s position to study the report before taking a decision on whether to take further action, which may include a judicial review.
“The ANC has full confidence in President Ramaphosa’s ability to champion efforts of building the South Africa we want free from disunity and underdevelopment,” Mabe said.
“President Ramaphosa’s reaffirmation of his respect for the Office of the Public Protector and his appreciation of the essential role it needs to play in promoting accountability and advancing the interests of the South African people is consistent with the views of the ANC on all Chapter 9 institutions.”
“The ANC is further emboldened by President Ramaphosa’s unwavering commitment and determination to fight all forms of corruption and malfeasance.”
On Friday, Ramaphosa acknowledged that he had received the report, and said the Public Protector had not properly considered his submissions.
“It is unfortunate, however, that from a cursory reading of the final report, it seems that the President’s response to the Section 7(9) notice has not been given due consideration.
“Nonetheless, the President will study the Public Protector’s report and make a decision on any further action.”
In her report, Mkhwebane also found that Ramaphosa deliberately misled Parliament when he responded to a question about the R500 000 donation by Bosasa boss Gavin Watson, in the National assembly.
Ramaphosa was confronted by DA leader Mmusi Maimane with a signed affidavit by former Bosasa auditor Peet Venter, which revealed that a R500 000 payment was made to an attorney’s trust account, called EFG2, in October 2017.
Venter’s affidavit stated the payment was for the Andile Ramaphosa Foundation, but no such foundation exists.
Ramaphosa responded in the National Assembly, saying he was aware his son was in business with Bosasa and the payment formed part of the contract.
But later that week, the president wrote a letter to then-speaker Baleka Mbete, correcting his reply to Maimane, saying the R500 000 was in fact a donation to his CR17 campaign.
“He deliberately misled Parliament, in that he should have allowed himself sufficient time to research a well-informed response,” Mkhwebane said.
She also found that Ramaphosa violated the executive ethics code in that he had exposed himself to a situation involving the risk of conflict between himself and his son through businesses owned by AGO.
In her remedial action, Mkhwebane demanded the publication of all donations received by Ramaphosa because he was the deputy president then and was thus bound to declare such financial interests.
She said this should be done within 30 days of receipt of her report.
Mkhwebane asked National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise to refer Ramaphosa’s violations to the joint committee of ethics and members’ interests for consideration.
Ramaphosa, in his submissions to Mkhwebane before the report was released publically, strongly defended his stance, saying her probe into his CR17 campaign was “unlawful” and out of her jurisdiction.
– FOLLOW News24 on Twitter