Ramaphosa fighting for position in ANC power struggle

By Doug Mattushek - 21 July 2019Views : 348

President Cyril Ramaphosa is being forced to face his detractors following Public Protector Busisiwwe Mkhwebane’s report that claims he misled parliament.

Mkhwebane’s report, which was released on Friday, claims Ramaphosa deliberately misled Parliament when asked to explain a donation of R500 000 to his political campaign from Bosasa. His explanation, or lack thereof, is a breach of the Executive Ethics Code, according to Mkhwebane.

The Citizen reports that Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson routed the donation through Miotto trading and Peet Venter, the company's former auditor, made the actual transfer. Venter’s sister, Margaret Longworth, was interviewed along with her brother and Watson by the Public Protector, but Ramaphosa’a s lawyers find it “odd” that their full explanations were held back in the report.

"The public protector interviewed all three of them but chooses not to disclose the explanation they gave for routing the donation via Miotto trading,” said Ramaphosa’s lawyers.

"It means that she either did not ask them, or that she asked them but chose not to disclose their answers… If the public protector harboured any suspicion and interviewed the suspects it would be very odd for her not to ask them for an explanation.”

Meanwhile, Mkhwebane’s fitness for office has been called into question following the overturning of one of her rulings by the Gauteng High Court earlier this year. This is key to the power struggle within the ANC, as an anonymous Ramaphosa detractor told the City Press.

“The NEC will be divided on the matter of removing the public protector,” they said.

“There will be those who say she will go, but it won’t work. Some of us have already said publicly that it should not happen...there are many of us who have not gone public yet with our view. But we won’t allow it.”