The public protector’s probe into President Ramaphosa has significantly expanded beyond the R500,000 donation by Bosasa, with Busisiwe Mkhwebane now investigating alleged money laundering relating to donations of more than R400m to his ANC presidential campaign, according to a report in the Sunday Times.
If Mkhwebane finds against Ramaphosa, it could provide impetus for a possible impeachment.
It’s understood that Mkhwebane has subpoenaed three bank accounts linked to Ramaphosa and is interrogating transactions, the report said.
Her investigation into Ramaphosa got underway following a complaint by DA leader Mmusi Maimane about the R500,000 donation to Ramaphosa’s campaign by Bosasa.The complaint was filed last November.
The DA’s complaint arose after Ramaphosa initially told the National Assembly that his son Andile had received money from Bosasa for services rendered in terms of a consultancy contract.
The Presidency later corrected that reply in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete.The president said the payment in question was actually a donation that had been made to his ANC presidential campaign, of which he had previously been unaware.
Some are tweeting that this is a witchhunt.
Ramaphosa’s office has confirmed that he received a notice in terms of section 7(9) of the Public Protector Act that he is implicated in allegations of violating the executive ethics code in relation his answer on the circumstances surrounding the R500,000 payment from Bosasa to his presidential campaign in 2017.
The notice means the Public Protector has enough evidence for an effective prima facie case against the president, but it also gives the implicated party the opportunity to respond.
Mkhwebane gave Ramaphosa until 21 June to respond. Last week, the Public Protector granted the president Ramaphosa more time after the Presidency, citing preparations for the State of the Nation Address, requested an additional extension.
Ramaphosa’s campaign managers have reportedly denied that the president had any knowledge or control over donations to his campaign, and that Mkhwebane was confused about what the funds were used for, according to News24.