Cyril Ramaphosa climate change South Africa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Photo: GCIS / Flickr

Ramaphosa vs Mkhwebane: Concourt to rule on CR17 funding matter

The Constitutional Court will rule whether President Cyril Ramaphosa misled Parliament about a R500 000 donation from Bosasa

Cyril Ramaphosa climate change South Africa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Photo: GCIS / Flickr

The Constitutional Court certainly has had its work cut out this week: It’s expected to deliver judgement on whether Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane had the powers to investigate President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign, on Thursday morning, 1 July 2021.

Just days earlier, the highest court in the land delivered a historic judgement – finding Ramaphosa’s predecessor Jacob Zuma guilty of contempt and sentencing him to 15 months in prison.

The Constitutional Court will also rule on whether Ramaphosa misled parliament about a R500 000 donation that was made to the campaign by the scandal-plagued company Bosasa.

Mkhwebane approached the apex court in a bid to reverse a decision by the High Court in Pretoria, setting aside her report and finding that she didn’t have the scope to probe Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign in the first place.

The court subsequently ordered the public protector to pay the legal costs for both Ramaphosa and National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise, who later joined the court bid.

Mkhwebane vs Ramaphosa: How will the Concourt rule?

The matter stems from when then Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane asked Busisiwe Mkhwebane to look into the origins of R500 000 that was paid to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s son by late Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.

Ramaphosa had initially said the money was for services rendered by his son’s consultancy firm. However he soon changed his tune.

Arguing on behalf of the president, advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi SC said Mkhwebane violated the constitution and thus, the matter should be dismissed on appeal.

“We would argue that the jurisdictional argument has simply not been met at all. You should dismiss the case on appeal because the case is hopeless on the merits,” he told the Constitutional Court.

Ngcukaitobi said it was clear that Mkhwebane was found wanting and had already determined the finding she wanted to come to.

“It’s clear she had an outcome. She had facts which were inconvenient, she discarded them. She wanted to reach her outcome. That should simply not be tolerated”