Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) deputy president Floyd Shivambu has accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of using underhanded tactics in the ongoing investigation into the R500,000 campaign donation he received from Bosasa.
According to Shivambu, Ramaphosa has resorted to “intimidatory tactics” against witnesses in the case and Shivambu believes he should man up and face the music instead of intimidating people.
“If the public protector says it is allowed to cross-examine complainants, I will comply and raise concerns in the cross-examination that such sets a wrong precedent,” said Shivambu in an interview with The Star.
Shivambu is one of the complainants in the matter alongside DA leader Mmusi Maimane who recently received a letter from Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane informing him that Ramaphosa would like to interview him as part of his request to cross-examine some of the people Mkhwebane had interviewed during her investigation into the donation.
“The president must dispute the facts presented to him and should avoid an intimidatory tactic of threatening complainants,” said Shivambu in response to Ramaphosa’s interview request.
In her letter to Maimane, Mkhwebane confirmed that she had served the president with a section 7(9) notice, which is a formal notification that a person has been implicated in an investigation by the public protector’s office.
Mkhwebane said in the letter that Ramaphosa was served with the notice on May 30. Those served with section 7(9) notices are given a deadline of ten days to respond, but according to the letter, the president requested an extension until June 28, with Mkhwebane instead giving him until June 21.
This extension was confirmed in a statement issued by the presidency in which they confirmed that Ramaphosa had been served with the notice.
Presidential spokesperson Khusela Diko said: “The president remains committed to fully cooperating with the public protector in the course of her investigation and to ensuring that this matter is speedily brought to conclusion,” said
Maimane and Shivambu both filed separate complaints after it was revealed that Ramaphosa had received the donation. The pair allege that the president had misled parliament and violated his executive code of ethics.
Speaking to the publication, Maimane’s spokesperson Azola Mboniswa confirmed that the DA leader had noted Mkhwebane’s update but would seek legal advice prior to deciding whether to submit himself to Ramaphosa’s cross-examination.
According to Diko, however, Ramaphosa hadn’t asked to cross-examine Shivambu as yet.