CR17 campaign’s own cyber security expert is being suspected of leaking confidential campaign information, News24 reports.
The expert, identified as 37-year-old Alexio Papadopulo, created the campaign’s email server and oversaw its security.
He is said to be the owner of a cyber security firm called The Agency, which CR17 bank statements show was paid R4.8 million.
Papadopulo was reportedly recruited by Wally Rhoode, who was CR17 campaign’s head of security.
Rhoode now serves as head of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s protection unit.
Papadopulo continued working for Ramaphosa for eight months after Ramaphosa became president.
However, he apparently left after falling out with Rhoode, who reportedly wrote to the Hawks in August to ask for investigations into the CR17 leaks.
According to two sources close to Ramaphosa who spoke to News24, Papadopulo is now being suspected of being behind the leaks.
Nevertheless, there is reportedly no direct evidence tying him to the leaks.
In fact, Papadopulo apparently compiled a report for the Hawks detailing how several attempts were made to access CR17 email servers.
Presidency spokesperson confirmed to News24 that an investigation is ongoing.
However, she would not be drawn to comment on “speculation or rumour” until the investigation is complete.
Ramaphosa’s lawyers vs Public Protector
Ramaphosa’s lawyers have previously suggested that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s office may have obtained some of CR17 information “illegally.”
They successfully petitioned the Pretoria High Court to keep the information sealed until it is ascertained that Mkhwebane obtained it lawfully.
However, CR17 private emails and bank statements had already been leaked on social media and to some media houses.
Mkhwebane has steadfastly maintained that she obtained CR17 bank accounts evidence lawfully through the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC).
Ramaphosa’s lawyers are now arguing that Mkhwebane may have breached the FIC Act by using an FIC intelligence report as evidence.
The president has taken Mkhwebane’s report on CR17 campaign funding on review and a hearing is expected soon.