South Africa: Mkhwebane’s Records On Ramaphosa Campaign Donations to Remain Sealed

The evidence relied on by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane in her investigation of President Cyril Ramaphosa will remain sealed.

Lawyers for Mkhwebane filed the documents with the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday as part of the ongoing review application brought by the president of her report into a R500 000 donation by corruption-accused Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.

The documents, including bank statements and emails, constitute the evidence Mkhwebane relied on in findings against Ramaphosa, particularly her findings of suspected money laundering and that Ramaphosa deliberately misled Parliament.

In recent weeks, some of this evidence has been leaked to the media.

On Wednesday, reporters who attended court in an attempt to gain access to the records were referred to the office of Deputy Judge President Aubrey Ledwaba.

Ledwaba earlier on Wednesday had issued a directive which effectively sealed the file until the dispute over the legality of the evidence could be resolved.

A meeting was held on Thursday morning between Ledwaba and attorneys on both sides.

Peter Harris, Ramaphosa’s attorney, wrote to Ledwaba last week, asking for the record to be sealed once filed, as it contained confidential third party information. Harris also stated his belief that some of the evidence, particularly CR17 emails and bank statements, were unlawfully obtained.

The office of the Public Protector has denied it obtained the evidence illegally, claiming now to have obtained the bank statements from the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC). FIC’s comments will be added once received.

The FIC does not confirm or deny providing information to investigators as a rule, however, News24 has approached the FIC for comment.

Harris, when contacted on Thursday, confirmed the record would be sealed, but would not be drawn into further detail.

News24 understands that, on Thursday, Ledwaba called for arguments from both parties. Thereafter, he ruled that the banking records would remain sealed.

The remaining documents would now be scrutinised by Ramaphosa’s legal team who will have until August 26 to raise objections to other documents being made part of the public record.

Source: News24