Latest court ruling against Mkhwebane should results in her removal – John Steenhuisen

DA leader says PP was again found to be unable to perform her responsibilities in a competent and fair manner

DA hopes latest court ruling against Mkhwebane results in her removal from office

10 March 2020

The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes the Gauteng High court finding against Public Protector BusisiweMkhwebane today in the matter between her and President Ramaphosa, involving donations to his CR17 campaign.

Yet again, the courts have found Mkhwebane to be unable to perform her responsibilities in a competent, fair and unbiased manner. We hope this brings to an end her disastrous chapter in office. The DA has consistently fought it, ever since her name was first put forward as a possible candidate for appointment.

Successive court rulings against her, as well as photos of such known state capture agents as Mosebenzi Zwane and Bongani Bongo at her 50th birthday party, support the DA’s long-held view that Mkhwebane is not fit for office, that her appointment was politically motivated, that she is aligned to the pro-Zuma faction of the ANC, and that hers was a state capture deployment all along.

The DA has tabled a motion in the National Assembly to have her removed from office. We hope this latest court finding will be the evidence needed to swing the balance of opinion and pressure in favour of removing her. Our motion led to the Speaker’s commitment to appoint an independent panel to assess the evidence against her. If the panel finds there is a prima facie case for misconduct or incompetence, then an ad hoc committee of parliament will be established to consider her removal.

It was clearly irrational for Mkhwebane to have ruled that President Ramaphosa should have appeared before Parliament’s Ethics Committee, since the President is not a member of the house, having resigned his seat upon his election, and is therefore beyond the reach of the committee.

Mkhwebane should now do the honourable thing and resign. She is now so tainted and deeply compromised that any of her future findings will be questioned.

Her incompetence has let the President off the hook, when in fact he has much to answer for. These crucial questions still need answers:

What services did Andile Ramaphosa deliver for R2 million and why did this contract coincide precisely with Ramaphosa’s election as ANC president?

What was the connection between Andile’s consultancy and the massive contracts Bosasa got from the state?

Why did Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson’s R500 000 donation to the CR17 campaign move through a number of accounts before ending up in the campaign bank account?

What exactly is the financial relationship between Cyril Ramaphosa and Bosasa and between the ANC and Bosasa?

The Bosasa donation was part of a R400 million campaign budget. Considering there were only 4500 delegates voting, what was this money spent on?

A finding against a Public Protector as compromised and incompetent as Mkhwebane does not mean that Ramaphosa is automatically innocent of all claims against him.

For the President to find it above board that his son receives millions of rands in “consulting fees” from a company that does billions of rands of business with the ANC government is simply not right. The fact is that Andile Ramaphosa was only on the Bosasa payroll because he is close to the centre of power. This is an abuse of power.

Equally so, it is not right that a company that does billions of rands of business with the government should be funding political campaigns – either of a faction of the party, or of the party as a whole.

In an ideal world, we should have a public protector who is able to carry out her duty to protect the public in an unbiased and competent manner and we should have a president who does not allow those connected to him to benefit financially from his position of power. Unfortunately, we have neither.

The DA will continue to fight the abuse of power when and where it arises, without fear or favour. We will continue to fight for independent institutions that check and balance power, run by truly independent candidates appointed on merit.

Issued by John Steenhuisen,Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 10 March 2020