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South Africa: Ramaphosa Hits Back At Mkhwebane, Setting Off a Major Legal Battle

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The Public Protector’s finding that President Cyril Ramaphosa is in breach of various codes for the funding of his ANC leadership campaign is going to set the legal cat among the political pigeons. As always with this form of lawfare, there are battles being played out in two courts, the one in which judges rule, and that of public opinion. Ramaphosa has now published the response that he gave to Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s preliminary findings against him. It is a robust response for both courts. But some of what he says may simply not hold up. Despite that, the finding that she makes that a claim of money laundering against him must be investigated is probably not sustainable and will fall away in the longer run.

To oversimplify Mkhwebane’s findings against Ramaphosa, he received money from various sources, including Bosasa’s CEO Gavin Watson for his ANC leadership campaign. This was money for him, and from which he benefitted. He was a member of the executive (as Deputy President and an MP at the time) and thus he should have declared this money. He did not. Also, the way the money ended up in his account may amount to money laundering…

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