The High Court in Pretoria has set aside Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s findings on President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC Presidential campaign, known as the CR17.
The court has found that President Cyril Ramaphosa did not mislead Parliament on the donations to the drive.
Judge Elias Matojane says there is no evidence that the President financially benefitted from the campaign donations.
He says he was also not obliged to disclose donations to Parliament.
President Ramaphosa had approached the court, requesting a judicial review of Mkhwebane’s report into the funding of his 2017 ANC presidential election campaign.
In the video below, Judge Matojane says the Public Protector’s report was deeply flawed:
In her report, Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa had misled parliament‚ violated the executive ethics code and acted inconsistently with his office in relation to R500 000 donated in 2017, by the late Bosasa boss Gavin Watson to Ramaphosa’s ANC presidential campaign.
The Economic Freedom Fighters supported Mkhwebane’s defence in court, submitting that Ramaphosa breached the highest ethical standard and lied to parliament.
But Judge Matojane says the full bench in the high court in Pretoria has found no substance to those accusations.
“According to the EFF, the President breached his ethical standard when he told the National Assembly that he was telling the truth based on facts he had gathered from his son. These submissions have no substance. We are not told which rule of Parliament is the source of the contended highest ethical standard,” says he explains.
“In addition, the EFF’s submissions come nowhere to showing the requisite willfulness to found substance in the complaint investigated by the public protector.”
Mkhwebane also found prima facie evidence of money laundering in the more than R400 million donated to the crusade.
But the court has rejected this, saying the Public Protector showed a complete lack of understanding of law on money laundering.
It says there’s no evidence that the donations to the CR17 campaign were proceeds of crime.
#RamaphosavsPP court finds activities of the CR17 campaign fell squarely in the private domain. It was not conduct in state affairs. PP has no power in private matters unless there are Public Funds used. #sabcnews pic.twitter.com/2lYUapD1wU
— Sipho Stuurman (@Sipho_Stuurman) March 10, 2020
In the video below, Ramaphosa’s lawyers deny that his family benefited financially from his CR17 campaign: