The Congress of the People (Cope) has released a statement saying it is “not surprised by public protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on President Cyril Ramaphosa.”
The party believes that Mkhwebane is covertly involving herself in the governing ANC’s factional battles.
“We have said it many times that this is a factional fight that will end up destroying this country,” the statement says.
“The public protector’s report shows very clearly that she is taking sides and the side she is taking is that of Mr Jacob Zuma and his ally Ace Magashule.”
As evidence, the party brings up the report into the Vrede Estina Dairy Farm Project, which many felt let Magashule off the hook.
“There is an investigation of corruption into the Vrede Estina Dairy Farm Project in the Free State that’s long been reported to the public protector, but nothing has come out of the investigations. This is one of the reasons that show without any shadow of doubt that the public protector is taking sides.
“Cope calls upon the public protector to protect the people of South Africa and stay away from engaging in factional battles within the ANC.
“We further call upon the public protector to make the report on Ace Magashule public.”
The party ends the statement by saying its accusations regarding Mkhwebane do not mean that the president should not be held accountable if he has broken the law.
“Cope also wants to reiterate that nobody is above the law including President Ramaphosa. If President Ramaphosa has violated the law, then the law must take its course,” the statement concludes.
At a press briefing to announce the release of her latest reports, Mkhwebane announced that she had found Ramaphosa deliberately mislead parliament when he was confronted on a donation made to his son, Andile, of R500,000 from Gavin Watson, the CEO of hugely controversial facilities company African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa.
This, according to Mkhwebane, constitutes actions which are inconsistent with his office – which at the time was deputy president – and amounts to a violation of the constitution.
She gave Ramaphosa one month to disclose all the donations to his campaign to become ANC president.
She also said that since Ramaphosa personally benefited from the proceeds of the campaign, they should have disclosed this benefit.
“I have evidence which indicates that some of the money collected through the CR17 campaign trust account was also into the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation account from where it was also transferred to other beneficiaries,” she said.
“Failure to disclose the said material benefits, including a donation from AGO (Bosasa), constitutes a breach of the code.”
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)