Ramaphosa responds to Mkhwebane's notice of investigation

President's submission contains documents which will 'enable the matter to be brought to conclusion as speedily as possible'

Ramaphosa responds to Mkhwebane's notice of investigation

27 June 2019

President Cyril Ramaphosa has responded to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s notice of investigation into his "alleged violations of the Executive Ethics Code".

In a statement released on Thursday, The Presidency said Ramaphosa had submitted documents the same day which would, hopefully, bring the matter to a conclusion.

"The President’s submission contains various confirmatory affidavits and supporting documents which, in his view, will enable this matter to be brought to conclusion as speedily as possible," said spokesperson for the president Khusela Diko.

She further explained that the reason for the delay was "due to other pressing matters of state" after the president requested two extensions for his submission.

Mkhwebane clarified earlier this week that she was investigating a R500 000 donation, allegedly from Bosasa (now known as African Global Operations) CEO Gavin Watson, in his personal capacity, to Ramaphosa’s bid to become president of the African National Congress.

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane laid the complaint with the Public Protector, saying: "The nature of the payment, passing through several intermediaries, does not accord with a straightforward donation and raises the suspicion of money laundering. The alleged donor is further widely reported to have received billions of rands in state tenders, often in irregular fashion."

Last week, the Sunday Times reported that Mkhwebane had seized bank statements from three accounts pertaining to Ramaphosa and, as a result, expanded her probe to look into the possibility of money laundering relating to Watson’s donation.

However, the Public Protector responded saying that Money laundering was always part of the office’s investigation.

"Money laundering is part of the complaint before the Public Protector. It was always part and parcel of what [DA leader Mmusi] Maimane asked her to look into. What we are not investigating is party political funding. We have dealt only with what Maimane brought before us," spokesperson for the Public Protector, Oupa Segalwe, previously confirmed to News24.

Bosasa was accused of bribing government officials for tenders from as far back as 2017.

Watson is still to submit answers to the questions posed by Ramaphosa through the Public Protector.

Segalwe also told News24 that once Mkhwebane had received Ramaphosa’s response, she would finalise the report.

Diko said Ramaphosa will comply with the Public Protector’s investigation.

"The President has reaffirmed his respect for the Office of the Public Protector and his commitment to offer his full cooperation."