Busi Mkhwebane asks NPA boss Batohi to probe Ramaphosa for possible money laundering

Shamila Batohi and President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Shamila Batohi and President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Masi Losi

The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Shamila Batohi, should investigate President Cyril Ramaphosa and members of his CR17 campaign for possible money laundering, public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said on Friday.

Mkhwebane has directed Batohi to further investigate whether there was any possible prospect of prosecuting Ramaphosa for money laundering following her investigation which raised concerns around why donations towards his presidential campaign, CR17, were not straightforward donations.

Mkhwebane found that the R500,000 donation by African Global Operations (AGO), formerly Bosasa, which passed through a trust account first before being transferred to the CR17 campaign, was concerning and raised questions around whether there was an improper relationship between Ramaphosa, his family and Bosasa.

“The allegation that there is an improper relationship between President Ramaphosa and his family on the one side, and the company African Global Operations on the other side, due to the nature of the R500,000 payment passing through several intermediaries, instead of a straightforward donation to the CR17 campaign, thus raising suspicion of money laundering, has merit,” Mkhwebane said on Friday.

Mkhwebane was releasing a report into her investigation on the donation made by Bosasa boss Gavin Watson towards Ramaphosa’s ANC presidential campaign. She said although she has found that the possibility of money laundering had merit, the matter should be further probed by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

She said that based on facts and evidence in her possession, she is of the view that there was merit to the “allegation relating to the suspicion of money laundering as alluded to in the complaint lodged in my office".

 “However, I have decided to refer the matter to the relevant institution for further probing," said Mkhwebane, making it clear that the Public Protector’s Act allowed for her to bring her findings to the attention of relevant authorities to consider prosecution. “Within 30 working days of receipt of this report, take note of the observations contained in paragraph 7.3.1 as well as the recommendations contained in paragraph 7.3.3 of this report, and in line with section 6(4)(c)(i) of the Public Protector Act, conduct further investigation into the prima facie evidence of money laundering as uncovered during my investigation, and deal with it accordingly,” Mkhwebane said to Batohi.

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