Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has reacted to newspaper reports, which suggest a leaked document reveals the course of action she will take with regards to President Cyril Ramaphosa and an illicit payment from Bosasa.
Why Busisiwe Mkhwebane may gun for Cyril Ramaphosa
Ramaphosa is accused of securing a R500 000 backhander from Gavin Watson – the CEO of the corrupt company – for his CR17 campaign in the ANC leadership race. However, when asked about this payment in Parliament, he initially lied about its origins, sparking a furious response from opposition parties.
Both the Democratic Alliance and the Economic Freedom Fighters launched their case against the president, through the public protector. Reports from this weekend claimed that Mkhwebane will reach a “guilty” verdict for Cyril, throwing his presidency into turmoil.
Bosasa case leaves Cyril in limbo
However, the public protector issued a statement on Sunday evening, acknowledging the report. Mkhwebane’s office failed to rule out if they had made a decision on the matter yet, and instead cried foul over the leak:
“Advocate Mkhwebane and her office will not comment on the contents of any news reports or leaked documents that purport to be hers, as that could jeopardise her investigations and prejudice the subject of the probes.”
“We draw the public’s attention to Section 7 of the Public Protector’s Act: No person shall disclose to any other person the contents of any document in the possession of a member of the office of the public protector during an investigation unless determined otherwise by the public protector.”
Statement from Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s office
Busisiwe Mkhwebane tight-lipped on Bosasa bribes
Mkhwebane may be bound by legal process, but she declined the option to reveal if her office had yet made a decision on the matter: The silence will be of no comfort whatsoever to Cyril Ramaphosa, whose administration is facing another battle with the public protector’s office.
Minister Pravin Gordhan was the subject of an unfavourable ruling from Mkhwebane in May after he granted Ivan Pillay an early pension payout from SARS in 2011. Gordhan has since promised to fight this issue in the courts – a fate which may befall the president if he is found to have acted unlawfully with his Bosasa payments.
- You can read the full statement from Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s office here:
— Public Protector SA (@PublicProtector) June 9, 2019