Busisiwe Mhkwebane, South Africa’s Public Protector, said in a report Friday, that the manner in which a R500,000 donation to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign to become the leader of the African National Congress (ANC) was channeled, raises suspicions of money laundering.
Mhkwebane, whose office is saddled with investigating allegations of corruption against public leaders, said the money was moved through several accounts including that of Ramaphosa’s campaign account.
The corruption prosecutor, found Ramaphosa guilty of an act which is inconsistent with his office. He was also accused of violating the constitution by lying to parliament.
She noted that he misled lawmakers when he denied knowing of the donation in November 2018. The question was posed to him by Musi Maimane, leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance.
Ramaphosa told lawmakers that the payment was for consultancy work done by his son Andile for Bosasa— now African Global. He subsequently admitted that the money was meant to support his campaign to replace his boss Jacob Zuma as leader of the ANC.
In her submission, Mhkwebane said. "Although President Ramaphosa may have been justified to correct the earlier statement on erroneous or incomplete information at his disposal, he indeed misled parliament."
She noted that the President,"Should have allowed himself sufficient time to research a well-informed response," before responding to a question from the main opposition Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane.
"I, therefore, find that President Ramaphosa's conduct ... although ostensibly in good faith, to be inconsistent with his office".
Al Jazeera reports that Mhkwebane will submit a report to the Ethics Committee of Parliament, who would decide to investigate further.
"This is likely to set the path to Ramaphosa facing a no confidence ballot. His predecessor, faced that ballot eight times before he received the boot. Ramaphosa promised to fight corruption in the ANC."