EFF to appeal Mkhwebane judgment, DA says Ramaphosa still has questions to answer

The EFF says it will appeal the scathing North Gauteng High Court judgment in favour of President Cyril Ramaphosa in the investigation by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane into his CR17 campaign. 

The party said the court's findings that Ramaphosa had not misled Parliament exposed the court as an institution complicit in weakening Parliament.

EFF national spokesperson Delisile Ngwenya added that absolving Ramaphosa showed that the courts saw Ramaphosa differently than the South African public. 

She said the ruling was in direct violation of the foundation of constitutional order of equality before the law.

READ | A recap of the Ramaphosa vs Mkhwabane court case

Scrutiny

"Equality before the law means Ramaphosa must be subjected to the same scrutiny that [former president Jacob] Zuma and many others faced when they violated the Constitution, laws and rules of Parliament.

"In defence of the integrity of Parliament, its public standing and general respect by all, the EFF will challenge this ruling. We shall appeal to the Constitutional Court to overturn it and allow Ramaphosa to be held accountable."

Broken system

Former DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, who now heads the One South Africa movement, said the matter was an indictment of a broken system of patronage that had slowly poisoned the state and economy.

"It's about rich political elites and rich business elites colluding with each other, serving their own narrow interests at the expense of the citizens of South Africa. It's about accountability for all political office bearers, regardless of seniority."

He added his attempts to get to the bottom of the matter when he pursued access to contracts of the president's son, Andile, with Bosasa via Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) applications were rejected.

"The president, Bosasa and Andile all rejected these attempts, the surest indication yet that there is something to hide. Moreover, Andile Ramaphosa undertook to institute a legal review of all his business ventures - including contracts between any of said companies and Bosasa over a year ago in April 2019. We are yet to see any outcome of this review."

More questions

He added Ramaphosa still needed to answer several questions which included what services Andile Ramaphosa delivered to Bosasa, and what was the connection between his consultancy firm and the contracts Bosasa got from the state.

Steenhuisen also questioned why former Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson's R500 000 donation to the CR17 campaign moved around several bank accounts before ending up in the campaign's account. He also wants to know whether that donation was part of Ramaphosa's R400 million campaign budget. 

"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," said Steenhuisen.

The ruling

On Tuesday, the High Court in Pretoria delivered a scathing and damaging judgment against Mkhwebane's findings and remedial action in her investigation into Ramaphosa's ANC presidential campaign donations.

A full Bench of judges set aside her findings on Tuesday, stating she had acted unlawfully, recklessly and without jurisdiction to investigate the president's party campaign.

The court ruled Mkhwebane's findings included material errors in law. Furthermore, it found she did not have jurisdiction to investigate the funding of the CR17 campaign.

The report followed an investigation by Mkhwebane which was initiated after two complaints from opposition party leaders - former DA leader Mmusi Maimane and EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu.