If Ramaphosa must face criminal prosecution, then he must, Maimane says

 

 

The rule of law must be upheld regardless of who is president, Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane said on Friday.

Maimane was reacting to the release of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report which found that President Cyril Ramaphosa had misled Parliament over the R500 000 donation to his ANC presidential campaign from Bosasa which now trades as African Global Group, in which the leader of the official opposition in Parliament was the first complainant.

READ MORE: Ramaphosa supports Gordhan against Public Protector in ‘rogue unit’ court case

The second complainant, according to Mkhwebane’s report was Economic Freedom Fighters deputy president and chief whip, Floyd Shivambu. There is also a third complainant, who wished to remain anonymous, she said.

“Our decision is never to pick between good presidents and bad presidents. Our job is to make sure that the rule of law is upheld therefore in our laying of the complaint to the Public Protector, we wanted an investigation into whether the president misled government and whether there were further allegations of money laundering,” Maimane said.

“In the case of money laundering [we want] the appropriate structure to conduct a criminal investigation and if the president must face criminal prosecution then he must. We uphold that the rule of law must be upheld regardless of whose president.”

Maimane said both complaints he laid against Ramaphosa were upheld and he called on Parliament to “do its job of exercising oversight” through setting up an ad hoc committee to process the report against the president.

Mkhwebane delivered her report on Friday in which she found that Ramaphosa misled Parliament and that there was “merit” in the complaint over the suspicion of money laundering because payments passed through several intermediaries instead of going straight to the CR17 campaign.

She referred the matter to the National Prosecuting Authority for further investigation and directed the Speaker of Parliament, Thandi Modise, to refer her finding that Ramaphosa had breached the Executive Code of Ethics to the ethics committee for “consideration”.

Maimane brought the complaint against Ramaphosa after the president responded to questions in Parliament on the donation, but later wrote to the speaker to change his response as he had not initially had all the facts at hand. 

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Natasha Marrian
Natasha Marrian
Marrian has built a reputation as an astute political journalist, investigative reporter and commentator. Until recently she led the political team at Business Day where she also produced a widely read column that provided insight into the political spectacle of the week.
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