Some political analysts have warned that the current legal battles between President Cyril Ramaphosa and the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane will have far-reaching consequences for Ramaphosa’s credibility. In her report Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa misled Parliament and violated the Executive Ethics Code.
She also found evidence of money laundering in the over R400 million donations made to the CR17 campaign for African National Congress (ANC) presidency. However Ramaphosa’s lawyers accuse Mkhwebane of unlawfully obtaining and leaking to the media financial information from bank accounts linked to the campaign.
Political analyst Xolani Dube says South Africa is heading towards the same challenges that they faced in the administration of the former president Jacob Zuma. “The perception that was created prior Cyril Ramaphosa ascending into power, he was a typecast as a paragon of morality and ethical leader and moreover he was somebody that we thought that the issues of secrecy and the issues of back hand manipulation into our state entities especially to the president is the issue of the past but it’s so sad that the more things change the more they stay the same. It seems as if we are going back to that narrative of Jacob Zuma.”
Dube also says opposition parties will capitalise on the conflict between Ramaphosa and Mkhwebane. “When it comes to the EFF you have to bear in mind that the EFF is an opposition party, they are becoming opportunistic, it is their role to widen up cracks that are there, that are existing and so there’s nothing wrong that they are doing. They have to flip flop if it makes the good to the constituency and makes them get more constituencies for the votes.”
Meanwhile, Legal Analyst Ulrich Roux says the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane should use legally qualified people to make sure that whatever documents she uses to conduct investigations do not lead to the credibility of her reports being put under scrutiny. The Presidency has accused Mkhwebane of leaking to the media confidential banking information relating to donors of Cyril Ramaphosa’s election campaign for ANC presidency.
Ramaphosa and Mkhwebane have been at loggerheads since the release of her Bosasa report. Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa misled Parliament about the source of a R500 000 Bosasa donation.
Ramaphosa earlier asked the High Court in Pretoria to ensure that certain documents contained in the report are not made public, saying they may have been obtained unlawfully. “Unfortunately our Public Protector has found herself in numerous court battles. One wants the Public Protector to be out there to be doing her job and not having to defend every single report that she brings out, in court. Unfortunately she has lost a number of legal battles. One would actually start questioning the advice that she is receiving. It’s not a favourable situation to be in. She should be out there doing her job,” says Roux. Click below for more on the story: