Johannesburg – Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane believes in the report she put out on the Bosasa donation saga and will seek to assist the court to arrive at the correct conclusion by defending the matter, her office said on Sunday.
Mkhwebane was responding after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced earlier that he would be seeking an urgent judicial review of the Public Protector’s damning report against him.
Mkhwebane’s report, released last week, found Ramaphosa to have violated the Constitution by lying to Parliament regarding the R500 000 which was made by controversial businessman and Bosasa boss Gavin Watson towards his ANC presidential campaign.
When asked by DA leader Mmusi Maimane about the donation last year, Ramaphosa said the payment was made for his son, Andile, who had a contract with Bosasa, only to reveal to Parliament later that it was a donation made by Watson towards his campaign, which he said he was not aware of.
Mkhwebane said there was prima facie evidence pointing to a "suspicion of money laundering" with regard to the Bosasa donation, adding she had "proof" Ramaphosa had personally benefited from the donation.
On Sunday Ramaphosa described the report as irrational, illegal and of lacking impartiality.
Public Protector acting spokesman Oupa Segalwe said: "Mkhwebane has noted the president’s decision to seek recourse through the courts regarding her recent findings against him as it is his right to do so. Adv. Mkhwebane welcomes this move. As she has said before, any review proceedings must be coupled with an interdict to stay the implementation of remedial action.
"The Public Protector has the power in terms of the Constitution to investigate, report on and appropriately remedy any conduct in state affairs or in the public administration, in any sphere of government, which is alleged or suspected to be improper.
"In addition, the Public Protector has powers under pieces of legislation such as the Public Protector Act (PPA), the Prevention and Combatting of Corrupt Activities Act (PACCA) and the Executive Members’ Ethics Act (EMEA), all of which were relied upon during the investigation in question."
Segalwe said Mkhwebane was confident that her findings are factual, rooted in sound application of the law and would will pass the rationality test.
"Having taken note of the action the president intends to take, and given that she believes in the report she put out, Adv. Mkhwebane will seek to assist the court to arrive at the correct conclusion by defending the matter," he said.