Founding leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA) has criticised the way his former party handled the Public Protector’s report on President Cyril Ramaphosa and the R500,000 Bosasa donation to his presidential campaign.
Speaking during a lecture on the value of liberal political parties, attended by former DA leader Helen Zille among others, Leon said: “It was a big mistake to accept Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report that Cyril Ramaphosa misled Parliament.”
I really would like to do so and I will later tonight. First, though, I'm off to Tony Leon's Liberalism lecture — it is bound to be thought-provoking — and when I come home, I will watch. Thanks for alerting me.
— Helen Zille (@helenzille) July 30, 2019
According to a report published by City Press, Leon also said: “I can understand that they [the DA] referred the matter to the Public Protector because they had no other option. But to accept at face value the report from such a dishonest woman was dumb and naive.”
This was in reference to a July report published Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in which she claims to have found that 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. She said had also violated the constitution in doing so.
This, according to Mkhwebane, constitutes actions which are inconsistent with his office – which at the time was deputy president.
“He deliberately misled parliament, in that he should have allowed himself sufficient time to research on a well-informed response,” said Mkhwebane at a press conference presenting the report.
Leon’s statements come after Zille said Maimane should not have approached the Public Protector about the donations while their party was calling for the removal of the public protector.