Here’s why Maimane’s letter raised questions on ‘Ramaphosa campaign cash’

Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane is seen during a press briefing held at her offices, 4 December 2017, Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Nelles

Segalwe says the public protector’s office will not confirm any information to the media while the probe is ongoing.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is currently probing alleged money laundering linked to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s #CR17 campaign for the ANC presidency. This is after Sunday Times reported that Mkhwebane has expanded a complaint originating from DA leader Mmusi Maimane to include money laundering allegations to the tune of R400 million.

The investigation originated from Maimane’s investigation lodged after he presented slips in parliament showing that Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson had paid R500,000 into the account of the president’s son Andile.

Ramaphosa initially said this payment was for consulting work on the part of his son but later backtracked and admitted it was for the CR17 campaign, denying having known this at the time of answering to Maimane in parliament.

The public protector’s spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, confirmed that investigations were prompted by a letter from the DA leader expressing concern at the nature of payments, saying that since they passed through several intermediaries, they did not seem to be “a straightforward donation”.  These, according to Maimane, raised suspicion of money laundering, he explained on Power FM.

Segalwe said the public protector’s office would not confirm any information to the media while the public protector’s probe was ongoing. He made it clear that the probe was not solely based the money laundering claims and that its scope was wider.

The public would have to wait for the final report on the matter, as Mkhwebane’s reports are released only at the end of the investigation, as per the Public Protector’s Act, Segalwe said.

The Sunday Times reported yesterday that Mkhwebane was investigating Ramaphosa for money laundering in connection with alleged donations of more than R400 million.

The public protector reportedly scrutinised three bank accounts linked to the president as part of her probe.

Ramaphosa’s former campaign manager, James Motlatsi, has dismissed allegations of money laundering and maintains there was an alleged agreement that Ramaphosa would not be involved in the presidential campaign, as they didn’t want him to be accountable for any funding.

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