The High Court in Pretoria has granted President Cyril Ramaphosa an urgent interdict, following an application to stay the remedial action in Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s Bosasa report.
Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa misled Parliament over the source of a R500 000 Bosasa donation for the CR17 leadership campaign.
Ramaphosa is taking the matter on judicial review as he believes the report itself is legally flawed. He argues Mkwhebane overreached by looking into accounts that are not related to the Bosasa donation.
His lawyers have also asked the court to conceal from public consumption certain bank statements and information used by Mkhwebane in her Bosasa report.
The judge officially granted the interim interdict to stay the Public Protector’s remedial actions pending the judicial review. The court’s decision means action cannot be taken against President Ramaphosa for now.
The Public Protector did not oppose the urgent interdict and has agreed her remedial actions can be stayed pending review.
The case being reviewed on Monday followed complaints to the watchdog in November by opposition lawmakers that Ramaphosa had violated the executive ethics code over a donation to his son, Andile, by Gavin Watson, CEO of services company Bosasa.
Ramaphosa told parliament at that time that the money was obtained legally for services he provided, but he later amended this by saying the payment was a donation towards his campaign.
On Thursday, Ramaphosa won a separate a case also involving Mkhwebane when a judge ruled he had acted reasonably in not immediately disciplining Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, over a decision linked to retirement of a tax official in 2010.
Her office had sought to discipline Gordhan after concluding he had wrongly approved an early retirement package for the official, before allowing him to be re-employed on a contract basis.
Gordhan is appealing those findings, and Ramaphosa now does not need to take action against Gordhan while the case is ongoing.
Earlier, the ANC described as unfair suggestions by weekend newspaper reports that some who helped fund the party’s 2017 leadership campaign benefitted from government in business dealings.
ANC head of Presidency, Sibongile Besani, says there are legitimate concerns over the matter…
“It is not about supporting the President, it is about supporting comrades who campaigned for the ascendancy of President Cyril Ramaphosa. It would be unfair to draw a conclusion that they get money because they supported that. But the concern is something that you can’t dismiss, it is legitimate. President Ramaphosa is just on what he has done so far by being open and saying let’s talks about these issues and make sure the legal processes underway ensure the matter is settled properly and legally.”
-Additional reporting by Reuters