Former Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane says President Cyril Ramaphosa “must still account to the public fully” regardless of Pretoria high court’s ruling on Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on the late Gavin Watson’s donation to the CR17 campaign.
On Tuesday morning, the court set aside the report, ruling that Ramaphosa did not mislead Parliament when replying to Maimane’s question about the donation.
In 2018, Ramaphosa initially said in Parliament that Watson’s payment was part of a contract Watson’s company, Bosasa, had with his son Andile Ramaphosa.
‘Ramaphosa, Andile must account’
However, he later retracted his oral reply with a written statement to the Speaker of Parliament, saying the payment was in fact a donation to his CR17 campaign.
Maimane subsequently asked Mkhwebane to investigate whether or not Ramaphosa had deliberately misled Parliament.
Soon after the ruling on Tuesday, Maimane shared a video of himself on Twitter with his reaction.
He captioned it, “Okusalayo [what remains is]. The President must still account to the public fully. Andile Ramaphosa must still account to the public about the nature of his business deals with Bosasa.”
‘Politicians and their children’
In the video, Maimane said, “The issue is not about campaign financing or the fitness to hold office of the Public Protector.
“The issue at core is about accountability. It’s about the fact that all over the world, politicians and their children end up doing business with the state. Those companies eventually give money and donations to big politicians.”
Maimane said it was important to establish exactly how much business Andile Ramaphosa got from Bosasa, which was in turn doing business with the state.
He also asked whether Watson’s donation was the only one he had made to the President or not, adding that South Africans “should never lose track of accountability.”
“Children of presidents, whether it be Jacob Zuma’s children or President Ramaphosa’s children or any future president, must never benefit from deals done and ultimately money being channelled back to them,” Maimane added.
Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leaders, such as Julius Malema, have previously claimed Maimane’s decision to file the Public Protector complaint against Ramaphosa led to powerful DA figures turning against him, ultimately leading to his resignation.
Maimane is currently building his “One South Africa Movement,” which he says is open to all South Africans regardless of their party affiliation.