By Hendrica Nkoana (3 mins read)
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane had released a report in July investigating the donors of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign. One of them was Bosasa, a company embroiled into corruption allegations of irregular government tenders.
Mkhwebane has argued that the President violated the Constitution after lying to parliament by not mentioning that he obtained funds from the entity, rather stating it was a donation made by his son.
The situation led to the Protector ordering National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi to investigate the case in order to find leads that point to money-laundering.
Ramaphosa appealed for an urgent review of the report and for some documents consisting of e-mails and financial details in the report to not be made public.
On Monday, the Pretoria High Court ruling suspended Mkhwebane’s order for remedial action to be taken against the President about the campaign funds.
Mkhwebane had also directed the President to discipline Minister of Public Enterprise Pravin Gordhan in two occasions.
One was for the establishment of a “rogue unit” in SARS and the other for offering an early retirement to former Deputy SARS commissioner, Ivan Pillay. She lost both cases.
With these developments in mind, we asked UJ students: What is their take on the unfolding battle that is making headlines between the President and the Public Protector?
Azola Cutshwa, a second-year Strategic Corporate Communication student at UJ, said, “The President is trying to keep a clean reputation since the past presidents have not had the best ones. And him saying that Mkhwebane’s sources are fake, he is only trying to discredit the information.”
Mbuyiselo Mkwanazi, a first-year student in Entrepreneurial Management at UJ, said, “If you have friends with money, you might as well use them to help you and I definitely would do the same if I was in that position.”
Koketso Lekgwathi, a BCom Accounting second-year student at UJ, said, “I feel like he is very shady and for the mere fact that he asked Busisiwe Mkhwebane to confirm her sources means that there is actually something that he is hiding.”
Lorinda Pretorius, a BA Psychology first-year student at UJ, said, “Cyril Ramaphosa is untrustworthy because during Zuma’s term he was Deputy President, and you cannot be in such a high position and not know what’s going on. So, I’m not surprised that he took money and lied about it.”
Xhamla Songwevu, a third-year LLB Law student at UJ, said, “We find it very hypocritic of the President not to want to abide by the rulings of the Public Protector because it was found to be irregular spending.”
Gosiame Moloko, a third-year Bcom Accounting student at UJ, said, “He is a liar because he had a chance to disclose his CR17 campaign donors. We don’t care who funded his campaign or how much the money was but what bothers us is that he lied, which hinders his credibility.”
Reporting by Hendrica Nkoana. Editing by Gaby Ndongo. Feature image accompanied by Lorinda Pretorius, a first-year student in BA Psychology, at the UJ APK Student Centre before giving her opinion on the issue between President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on Wednesday, 14th August 2019. Image courtesy to Gaby Ndongo.