President Cyril Ramaphosa stepped in front of the media on Sunday, announcing that he would override Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's findings for an urgent judicial review against him. Ramaphosa emphasized his respect for Mkhwebane's office – but called her report "fundamentally and irretrievably flawed."
President Cyril Ramaphosa will launch an urgent judicial review of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report on his campaign finances during his 201
Ramaphosa emphasized his support for the rule of law and Chapter 9 institutions and did not comment on whether Mkhwebane was malevolent or incompetent after having published a report on Friday stating that he was misleading Parliament and The Code of Conduct for a donation of R 500,000 had violated Chief Gavin Watson made to his CR17 campaign.
The President said he and his attorneys agreed that the report was "fundamentally and irretrievably flawed", had "numerous factual inaccuracies" and made statements on specific issues outside of the mandate of the public protector ,
He will request to review Mkhwebane's report, its findings and remedies.
" It should be of concern to all South Africans that an office with such a constitutional consequence as that of the public protector makes such statements against the head of state," said Ramaphosa.
" It is therefore important As with all investigations, such statements should be based on facts, have a sound legal basis, be rational and have been achieved through a fair, impartial and lawful process. "He went on.
" Unfortunately, the report published by the Public Protector does not meet these crucial requirements."
Mkhwebane stated that the President purposely misled Parliament in November 2018 when he answered a question from DA Chairman Mmusi Maimane said that the R500,000 donation from Bosasa was for his son Andile. She said Ramaphosa should have declared the donations for his CR17 campaign a major benefit to the then vice president.
She ordered spokesman Thandi Modise to refer him to the Committee on Ethics and Membership within 30 days and demand the publication of all donations Ramaphosa received in his CR17 campaign. She also instructed the NPA to investigate a possible money laundering case.
Ramaphosa has disputed Mkhwebane's calculations of the finances of his campaign and on Sunday he noted that only donations to CR17 and not to other ANC presidential candidates, some of which were in parliament at the time, were published (not to mention donations to other party leaders for internal or external elections).
" It happens that almost everyone who advocates for the presidency of this ANC has raised a lot of money. And so it happens that we may never really know. The only thing we know about right now is the CR17.
While speaking about fundraising during his campaign, his team took care of the "complicated" details of donations.
" Yes, there was knowledge, but the knowledge was also limited to a great extent."
Ramaphosa called on the courts to conduct an "accelerated judicial urgency check". His attorney team is still working on the details of his application and on whether the judicial review must include an urgent ban to prevent the implementation of the mandatory remedial action of the public protector.
" The questions that will arise, of course, is whether there is a suspension [of the report] or whether the acceleration occurs within the deadline set by the Public Protector.
The courts have criticized Mkhwebane for their reports on the Estina Dairy Farm and Bankorp problems and some Ramaphosa allies believe that they are biased against the President's administration. In another report, which is under review, she has also involved public sector minister Pravin Gordhan, an important ally of Ramaphosa, in misconduct during his time as SARS commissioner.
Mkhwebane denied being biased and continued to defend its reports in court.
" Whether the public protector is motivated by malice, I will not comment on it because I really respect the office of the public protector and must respect all offices from my own position as president I will continue to do so because I deeply respect our constitution, "said Ramaphosa on Sunday.
But if, as we have now discovered, we find that there are shortcomings. According to our constitution, we can have some of their findings judged by the judiciary, and that's what we do. We do not comment on her competence, we do not comment on whether she has any malice or whatever. We just say that we want their principles to be upheld, "he told journalists.
Mkhwebane initiated her investigation into Ramaphosa after receiving complaints from Mmusi Maimane, Floyd Shivambu from the EFF and an anonymous whistleblower.
In a On Sunday, the EFF stated that Ramaphosa should seek leave during his review, with Mkhwebane's recommendations to be implemented during the court hearing.
His press conference attempted to regain lost integrity ground, was 30 minutes of hot air without blowing anything concrete, "said the EFF. " No sitting president should be in direct conflict with a constitutional agency of the chapter 9 for things he is to blame. "
Maimane said Ramaphosa should pay his own attorney fees and Parliament should set up an ad hoc committee to review the report and how to act against Ramaphosa." He said the NPA should investigate money laundering claims.
I note the decision of the President to request a judicial review, since it is his right to do so, and it is equally important for Parliament to convince itself that this is of crucial importance to them The rule of law applies to all, "Maimane tweeted Sunday.
The Constitutional Court will decide on Monday whether Mkhwebane personally pay 15% the Reserve Bank's legal fees in the bankruptcy case, after the High Court found that it was biased and did not understand its duty of impartiality.
The public protector will be back in court on Tuesday as Gordhan questions her report on his time at SARS.
The EFF has vowed to protest in the North Gauteng Supreme Court, while the SACP and civil society groups have pledged themselves to defend Gordhan and others whom they believe are against them Proceed with corruption. DM
In other news …
The 18th of July marks the day of Nelson Mandela. Everywhere in the country, South African citizens dedicate 67 minutes to charity in memory of Madiba. It's a great initiative and one of the few opportunities in South Africa where we come together as a nation to pursue a common cause. An annual 67 minutes are not enough.
In the words of Madiba:
"A critical, independent and investigative free press is the lifeblood of every democracy."
Daily Daily Maverick investigates and exposes the deep rot of state capture and corruption, but we need your help. Without the support of our readers, we simply will not survive. We've set up Maverick Insider as a membership platform where our readers can join our community while ensuring that we continue our research and that our articles are free to anyone who reads them. Sign up for Maverick Insider this Mandela month and make this important contribution for more than 67 minutes. For whatever amount you decide You can support Daily Maverick and that lasts only a minute. 
Comments – Share Your Knowledge and Experience
Please note that you must be a Maverick Insider to leave a comment , Log in here or if you are already an insider.