President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office has confirmed that he had received a notice from Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane informing him that he had been implicated in her investigation into the R500 000 donation to his campaign from Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson.
The notice means the Public Protector has enough evidence for an effective prima facie case against the president, but it also gives the implicated party the opportunity to respond.
Presidency spokeswoman Khusela Diko said: “The president has written back to Advocate Mkhwebane. He’s requested an extension of the ten-day period but also elected to exercise his entitlement to question firstly the complainant, Mr [Mmusi] Maimane and several other witnesses that would have appeared before the Public Protector during the course of this investigation.”
Ramaphosa has also asked to cross-examine Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, who lodged a complainant with Mkhwebane’s office asking it to investigate whether the president had deliberately lied to Parliament about the donation.
“The president has further requested to exercise his entitlement to question the complainant, Mr Maimane and several witnesses who had appeared before the Public Protector during the course of her investigation in terms of section 7 (9) (b) (ii) of the Act.
“The president remains committed to fully cooperating with the Public Protector in the course of her investigation and to ensuring that this matter is speedily brought to conclusion,” Diko added.
Earlier, Mkhwebane confirmed in a letter to Maimane that Ramaphosa is implicated in her investigation,
Mkhwebane told Maimane that Ramaphosa requested an extension until June 28 to respond to her Bosasa report‚ but she had given him until June 21 to do so.
In a separate letter sent last week‚ Mkhwebane hit back at Maimane for accusing her of not properly investigating the Gupta-linked Vrede Dairy Project scandal‚ one of several reports that have been set aside by the courts‚ raising questions about her competence and suitability for the job.
Koketso Ramorei is a journalist and news editor of SADC News with years of experience in a number of genres including sports, politics and community reporting. He has worked for a numerous publications including The Citizen Newspaper and is a former editor of a Johannesburg-based off-campus publication called The Waldorfian Times.