Parliament, Thursday, 16 March 2023 – The Committee for Section 194 Enquiry into Public Protector (PP) Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office today heard testimony from the PP about the CR17/Bosasa investigation and report.

The report and investigation by the office of the PP refers to President Cyril Ramaphosa as the then Deputy President of the African National Congress (ANC), 2017 donor funding campaign in his quest to become President of the ANC. The PP found that there was “prima facie” evidence that CR17 was involved in money-laundering because of the movement of campaign the money into various accounts.

The courts, however, ruled that money-laundering must involve the proceeds of crime and that no evidence existed that this was the case in relation to CR17 donations. According to Adv Mkhwebane’s affidavit, very important players in the South African economy paid millions of rands into the CR17-campaign, raising reasonable suspicion that they were buying influence, so that in turn, several officials and/or functionaries received large amounts of money from those funds, according to Adv MKhwebane.

According to the affidavit Adv Mkhwebane read out in the hearing “over and above the showing of how money was moved around, the sealed records revealed as false the version that President Ramaphosa was ignorant of the identity of the donors of the CR17 campaign. We also had evidence which indicated that some of the money collected through the CR17 trust account was transferred to President Ramaphosa Foundation, an account which belongs to him”.
Adv Mkhwebane said she was being persecuted by “the untouchables”, being persons identified in the report. She repeated that Pres Ramaphosa should have declared his CR17 funding to Parliament as a personal benefit. She told the committee that the public is listening and wants to know the truth. “For me, this is a matter of life and death,” said Adv Mkhwebane.
Adv Dali Mpofu, SC, again read out minority Constitutional Court judgements in order to argue that the PP was right in her findings in the CR17/Bosasa report. He also raised concerns regarding the duration set aside for Adv Mkhwebane’s testimony as too short. The committee set 15 March to 31 March 2023 aside for this.
Committee Chairperson Mr Qubudile Dyantyi said the committee will pause its hearings until next Thursday due to other engagements tomorrow by Adv Mkhwebane who is due to appear in another matter and next week by Adv Mpofu, SC. He also indicated that the next parts of Adv Mkhwebane’s statement is due next week. Earlier this week the committee received the first part – a 255 page affidavit. The committee was established on 16 March 2021 to conduct a constitutional inquiry into the Public Protector’s fitness to hold office and is expected to conclude its work by the end of April 2023. Committee documents can be found at Committee for Section 194 Enquiry - Parliament of South Africa


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