President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced he will seek an urgent judicial review of public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s recently released report, which found him guilty of misleading parliament regarding donations to his CR17 campaign for the ANC presidency.
The president addressed the media on Sunday evening at 6pm in Pretoria at the Union Buildings.
According to Ramaphosa, Mkhwebane’s findings are “wrong in law, are irrational and, in some instances, exceed the scope of the powers of the public protector”.
He added that the report “contains numerous factual inaccuracies of a material nature” and is “fundamentally and irretrievably flawed”.
“It is appropriate that the courts of our country make a final and impartial determination on this matter,” he added.
Ramaphosa noted the seriousness of the findings against him, which include that he violated the executive ethics code and the constitution.
All South Africans should be concerned that such serious findings have been made against a head of state, and therefore it’s vital that these findings are “based on fact, have a sound legal basis and are rational,” the president said.
“Unfortunately the report released by the public protector falls short, failing to satisfy all these crucial requirements,” he added.
Ramaphosa believes the legal actions he is taking are necessary to protect both the integrity of the presidency and the office of the public protector.
He says these actions should not be seen at all as a personal attack on Mkhwebane and are based on the belief that neither the president and public protector are above the law.
“My decision to seek a judicial review of the report should not be seen as a comment on the person, competence or motives of the public protector, but is motivated instead by a determination that the law should be applied correctly and consistently,” he said.
Mkhwebane announced that she had found President Cyril 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.
“He deliberately misled parliament, in that he should have allowed himself sufficient time to research on a well-informed response,” she said at on Friday a press conference in Pretoria.