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Ramaphosa gets deadline to answer public protector’s graft report

The report is claiming that the President received donations from Bosasa.

South African anti-graft ombudsman Busisiwe Mkhwebane said she’s given President Cyril Ramaphosa until June 21 to respond to a probe she conducted into a campaign donation he received from a company that’s been implicated in paying bribes to senior officials. The rand fell.

Ramaphosa received notification on May 30 about the preliminary outcome of the investigation, which will be finalised once he has given input, Mkhwebane said in a letter to Mmusi Maimane, the leader of main opposition Democratic Alliance, which requested the probe. She has yet to decide whether to accede to a request by the president to cross-examine witnesses.

Read: DA calls for release of report on Ramaphosa

Johannesburg’s Sunday Independent newspaper reported on May 9 that Mkhwebane had found that Ramaphosa violated the constitution and may have been party to money laundering when his campaign to win control of the ruling party accepted a donation from services company Bosasa. The company, now called African Global Operations, had business dealings with Ramaphosa’s son and was implicated during a judicial probe of paying bribes to cabinet ministers and senior government officials in order to win state contracts.

Rand slumps

An already bad day for the rand got even worse following the release of Mkhwebane’s letter. The currency snapped its three-day winning streak, dropping as much as 1.1% before paring the decline to trade 0.6% down at 14.7591 per dollar by 1 pm in Johannesburg.

“It could be a source of uncertainty for the market and could also potentially slow down or at least distract President Ramaphosa from focusing on the implementation of economic reforms,” said Piotr Matys, a currency strategist at Rabobank in London.

Ramaphosa last year denied receiving money from Bosasa but backtracked a few days later, telling lawmakers saying he was unaware of the R500 000 ($33,832) payment, which would be returned. South Africa’s Presidency confirmed receipt of the graft ombudsman’s notice and said Ramaphosa will fully co-operate with the investigation.

“This is an embarrassing situation for Ramaphosa, who wants the issue sorted out as quickly as possible,” said Melanie Verwoerd, an independent political analyst. “The fact that the Public Protector’s deadline is one day after the president is due to deliver his state-of-the-nation address to Parliament puts additional political pressure on him.”

Credibility crisis

The Public Protector’s office has faced a credibility crisis since Mkhwebane succeeded Thuli Madonsela in 2016. The High Court has accused her of bias, almost a third of the reports she’s delivered are facing legal challenges and civil-rights groups say she’s brought the office into disrepute.

Mkhwebane has also been accused of injecting herself into political spats between feuding ruling-party factions, targeting officials loyal to Ramaphosa while failing to investigate those allied to his predecessor Jacob Zuma.

Mkhwebane, a lawyer and former analyst at the state security agency, has rejected the criticism, saying it is partly directed at undermining her investigations. Under the constitution, the Public Protector gets a non-renewable seven-year term and can only be removed from office if the National Assembly finds — through a two-thirds majority vote — that she is guilty of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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“Under the constitution, the Public Protector gets a non-renewable seven-year term and can only be removed from office if the National Assembly finds — through a two-thirds majority vote — that she is guilty of misconduct, incapacity or incompetence.”

Pity she can’t be fired for adding no value in reversing state capture, addressing SOE wasteful expenditure and supporting the economy.

Mkhwebane…lessee now….isn’t she the one that immediately switched all the TV sets in the Public Protector’s offices to the Gupta channel when she took office…? Hmmmm..

CR we warned you they are coming for you, the Zuptoid faction are everywhere.

In the British television series Blackadder, the seminal character has a dogsbody named Baldrick, who comes up with a “cunning plan” every time when doom is certain for the pair.

When Blackadder and Baldrick are about to be guillotined by French revolutionaries Baldrick’s cunning plan is to “do nothing” to which an exasperated Blackadder interjects, “Yep, that’s another world beater!”

But Baldrick reminds him of how a chicken, after being beheaded, runs round and round the farm yard and triumphantly suggests a similar course of action: “We do nothing, until our heads have actually been cut off. Then we run round and round the farmyard, out the farm gate and escape.”

So is Ramaphosa now above the law? Let him prove his innocence! The truth shall set him free! If not let him rot in jail like the rest of his “skelm” ANC cardrades!

Problem is nobody is in jail yet.

If Cyril goes to jail David Mabuza us president.
Game over.

He seems to be in the unenviable position where he has to play for time and needs to cross examine witnesses. No good for his credibility as he does not seem to have a straight forward answer. If he was innocent surely the answer would be straight forward and he will have proof?

I think he is shocked.

This ANC infighting has to stop if there is any future for our country. This is merely a bargaining tool to let the Zuptas off the hook. So transparent…and in the meantime, our reputation, currency and future suffers.

Why didn’t Cyril the Spineless just pay the money back? Case defused surely?

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