Ramaphosa celebrates, as court grants interdict against Public Protector’s remedial action

It has been a moment of relieve and celebration for president Cyril Ramaphosa’s camp.

The Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has granted President Cyril Ramaphosa an interim interdict to stay Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s remedial action stemming from her investigation into a R500 000 donation to his ANC presidential campaign.

Mkhwebane did not oppose Ramaphosa’s application for interim relief. The order was granted by agreement between Mkhwebane and Ramaphosa’s legal representatives.

In her report, Mkhwebane came to the conclusion that there was merit to allegations of money laundering, based on the facts before her.

Mkhwebane detailed how the R500 000 donation by Bosasa’s Gavin Watson made its way to the CR17 trust account, noting that it went through several intermediaries before landing in Ramaphosa’s campaign fund.

She also found that just over R191m was transferred into the CR17 account between December 2016 and January 2018.

Around the same amount was transferred out of the account during the same period, Mkhwebane said.

She added that three amounts of around R31m, R39m, and more than R51m were transferred by the same donor into the CR17 account.

“In conclusion, on the above revelations relating to the exchanges of large sums of money, some of which [was] received from private companies, I wish to express my preliminary view that such a scenario, when looked at carefully, creates a situation of the risk of some sort of state capture by those donating these monies to the campaign,” Mkhwebane said.

Ramaphosa then decided to take Mkhwebane’s report, in which it was found that he had violated the executive code of ethics, on urgent judicial review.

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