President Cyril Ramaphosa has responded to a notice by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane stating he was implicated in her Bosasa investigation.
The presidency confirmed on Thursday that the president responded to allegations that he violated the Executive Ethics Code.
It is unclear at this stage what Ramaphosa’s response was to Mkhwebane’s notice.
“The president’s submission contains various confirmatory affidavits and supporting documents, which, in his view, will enable this matter to be brought to conclusion as speedily as possible,” the president’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, said.
Ramaphosa’s response came after he requested an extension to submit his response to Mkhwebane’s preliminary findings.
“Due to other pressing matters of state, the president requested and was granted two extensions for the submission of his response,” Diko said.
Mkhwebane is said to have found that Ramaphosa misled parliament when he answered a question by DA leader Mmusi Maimane on a donation from Bosasa. He later clarified that Bosasa donated to his campaign for the ANC presidency.
Diko said Ramaphosa had reaffirmed his respect for the office of the public protector and “his commitment to offer his full cooperation”.
On Thursday, ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe implied that Mkhwebane’s probe against Ramaphosa may be political.
“The [public protector] is a [chapter] nine institution. If it behaves delinquently, that should be followed formally and be engaged. There are times when you think that she has occupied a political space that does not belong to her, but you must find a way of dealing with that. That is why we are in politics,” he reportedly said.
Mantashe also questioned the validity of her investigation into alleged money-laundering during Ramaphosa’s campaign for the position of ANC president.
“There were seven presidential candidates of the ANC. She is not interested in any of them, except one. That is political. If she is really interested to follow the question of fundraising, of campaigning in the party, not in government, which I don’t think is her jurisdiction, if she has an interest in that, she would have investigated seven of them. Once you select one, you are playing a political role,” News 24 reported.
The Sunday Times reported last Sunday that Mkhwebane was broadening her investigation to probe money-laundering against Ramaphosa.
She has subpoenaed three bank accounts linked to the CR17 campaign to investigate who else, besides Bosasa, donated to Ramaphosa’s ANC presidential bid.
Earlier in the week, Mkhwebane, citing a 2011 court judgment, said her office was emboldened in law to broaden the scope of the investigation.