Is Cyril Ramaphosa attempting to aid and abet the ANC’s Bonnie and Clyde bandits?
17 July 2020
Note to Editors: Please find attached English soundbite from Dr Leon Schreiber MP.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) can reveal that Public Service Minister Senzo Mchunu – acting on instructions from President Cyril Ramaphosa – has now established a second, parallel investigation into the ANC’s own Bonnie and Clyde, who have corrupted South Africa’s premier ethics watchdog, the Public Service Commission (PSC). This second investigation is ongoing despite the fact that, on 8 July 2020, advocate Smanga Sethene from the Office of the State Attorney already submitted a full report confirming that the Director-General (DG) of the PSC, Dr Dovhani Mamphiswana, had indeed illegally appointed his mistress, Boitumelo Mogwe, to the position of Chief Director for Ethics.
In accordance with the report’s recommendations, the DA on Wednesday laid criminal corruption charges against Mamphiswana and Mogwe. Advocate Sethene’s report further notes that the chairperson of the PSC had recommended to Ramaphosa as far back as 6 February that Mamphiswana’s should be suspended. Now that the allegations against the ANC’s Bonnie and Clyde have been substantiated, the report also charges the President to “consider acting against Dr Mamphiswana” – who reports directly to Ramaphosa.
On both occasions, Ramaphosa outright refused to act. He did not suspend Mamphiswana in February, and he has thus far refused to fire Mamphiswana on the basis of Sethene’s findings.
Instead of acting against these bandits, public service minister Senzo Mchunu on Wednesday issued a media release attempting to slam the DA for acting against this brazen corruption. More importantly, Mchunu’s statement also revealed that Ramaphosa has established a second, parallel investigation into allegations that have already been substantiated. Following the release of Mchunu’s statement, a whistleblower supplied the DA with a copy of a presidential minute issued by Ramaphosa on 27 February, wherein he authorizes Sethene’s original investigation. In his report, Sethene further confirms that “On 27 February 2020, the President replied to the Chairperson’s letter dated 6 February 2020 by way of a Presidential Minute, President Act No. 43.”
From the facts in the public domain, it thus appears that Ramaphosa authorized Sethene’s investigation on 27 February 2020. However, now that Sethene has confirmed the allegations against Mamphiswana and Mogwe, we suddenly find out about the existence of a second, new investigation.
This is a deeply suspicions state of affairs. South Africans need to ask why the President wants a second investigation when the first investigation has already been concluded? What happens if the second investigation comes to a different conclusion from the first? This highly anomalous state of affairs raises the alarming prospect that the government may intend to use the second investigation as a way to nullify the verdict reached by advocate Sethene, thereby aiding and abetting the ANC’s Bonnie and Clyde to escape accountability.
The DA demands that the President immediately end this charade by firing Mamphiswana and Mogwe forthwith. But given the damage already caused to the PSC’s credibility by a President who acts more like a spectator than a leader, Ramaphosa must do even more: we challenge him to personally join the DA in laying criminal charges against the ANC’s Bonnie and Clyde.
The DA also reiterates our warning that, should Ramaphosa fail to act or attempt to use this anomalous second investigation to in any way aid and abet Bonnie and Clyde to evade accountability, we will obtain a legal opinion on whether the President has breached his constitutional duty to uphold and promote a high standard of professional ethics in the public service.
Issued by Leon Schreiber, DA Shadow Minister for Public Service and Administration, 17 July 2020