DA requests parliament to form ad hoc committee to probe public protector findings on Ramaphosa

19 July 2019 - 16:09
By Nomahlubi Jordaan
DA leader Mmusi Maimane wants an ad hoc committee to look into the public protector's findings on a  Bosasa donation to president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Image: Twitter/Mmusi Maimane DA leader Mmusi Maimane wants an ad hoc committee to look into the public protector's findings on a Bosasa donation to president Cyril Ramaphosa.

The DA has written to National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise proposing the establishment of an ad hoc committee to look into findings by the public protector on a R500,000 donation that benefited President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Mkhwebane released a report on Friday which found that Ramaphosa had misled parliament in response to a question about the donation from Bosasa for his presidential campaign in 2017.

Mkhebane gave Modise 30 days to refer her finding that Ramaphosa had violated the code of ethical conduct to the joint committee on ethics and members' interests for consideration. But the president is not a member of parliament.

"In the absence of a standing committee on the presidency, we contend that the most appropriate way forward is the establishment of an ad hoc committee to consider this report, its findings, and how to ensure the president and any other players are held to account," DA leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement.

Such an ad hoc committee, according to Maimane, could consider the report and its recommendations; summon Ramaphosa, officials and ministers to account for the Bosasa scandal; deliberate and resolve to implement solutions to hold the president to account;  put recommendations forward to the National Assembly; and move for urgent, necessary legislative amendments to existing legislation and regulations dealing with party funding.

Maimane said Mkhwebane had only "scratched the surface" as it pertained to Ramaphosa, Bosasa, and his son Andile’s business interests.

"This matter requires further consideration, and parliament’s full attention," said Maimane.

He said his party would also seek clarity on how the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) would handle evidence of money laundering uncovered during her investigation.

"We will seek clarity on how the NPA will handle this matter and whether it will be referred to the Hawks or the NPA's new investigative directorate."

Maimane said Ramaphosa was liable to pay a fine, be imprisoned for up to two years, or both, as stated in the Powers, Privileges and Immunities Act.

"We will write to the speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, requesting that she lay a charge against the president in terms of this act. It is her role as head of the National Assembly to ensure the president is held to account for committing an offence against parliament."

Maimane said the DA would approach the joint ethics committee to look into all presidential hopefuls including Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Lindiwe Sisulu and Baleka Mbethe to declare their financial benefits as Mkhwebane had found that Ramaphosa was  duty bound to do so.

"The public protector’s report finally shatters the myth of a 'good ANC' and a 'bad ANC'. There is only one ANC – corrupt to the core and taking South Africa backwards," said Maimane.