The office of the Presidency has welcomed a High Court ruling, setting aside Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s CR17 report.

The case was brought by President Cyril Ramaphosa for a judicial review of Mkhwebane’s report into the funding of his 2017 ANC presidential election campaign.

The full bench of judges says Mkhwebane acted recklessly and irrationally and that she had no jurisdiction to investigate the CR17 campaign.

The court has found that Ramaphosa was not obliged to disclose campaign funding and did not mislead parliament on the CR17 campaign.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko says the President did not participate in unlawful activities.

“There was no unlawful activity that the President would have participated in and that by no stretch of the imagination or law can you come to that conclusion as the Public Protector did.”

“We welcome this judgment; we believe it brings finality to the matter. The President remains committed to honest and effective governance.”

The statement from the Presidency states that the Court further found that:

– The Public Protector had no jurisdiction to investigate the CR17 campaign.

– The President was not obliged to make disclosure of the donations received by the CR17 campaign.

– The Public Protector had no foundation in fact and in law to arrive at conclusion that President had involved himself in unlawful activities.

In the video below, a High Court judge says Busisiwe Mkhwebane acted unlawfully in exercising her powers in the manner that she did… 

‘Disappointing’

The office of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has described the ruling as disappointing.

Public Protector’s Spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, says Mkhwebane will study the ruling before deciding whether to appeal it.

He says: “It is a disappointing judgment and she respects the judiciary as well as their authority to make this kind of rulings.”

“Respecting a ruling does not mean you must agree with it. You can hold a different view and have all the other avenues to explore. But I am not saying she is going to appeal because she hasn’t taken that decision yet. That can only be taken after a thorough study of the judgment.”

Public Protector’s Spokesperson reacts below…

Mkhwebane’s report

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 (EFF) supported Mkhwebane’s defence in court, submitting that Ramaphosa breached the highest ethical standard and lied to parliament.