'We are not investigating the so-called R400m,' says Public Protector's office

The confusion on the scope of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's probe into President Cyril Ramaphosa's African National Congress (ANC) election campaign continues.

Sunday Times on Sunday reported that Busisiwe Mkhwebane subpoenaed three bank accounts linked to Ramaphosa's election campaign as part of her money-laundering investigation.

Read: Public Protector has now become a "rogue unit", says Judge Kriegler

Business Day, however, on Monday reports that the Democratic Alliance (DA) says it never asked for the scope of the investigation to be widened and that its complain to the public protector was around the R500,000 that Ramaphosa's campaign received from Bosasa.

Also read: R400m is absolute nonsense, insists CR17 campaign member

To discuss this confusion, Clement Manyathela on the Xolani Gwala Show chats to party national spokesperson Solly Malatsi and Public Protector Office spokesperson Oupa Segwale.

The initial complaint submitted by our leader Mmusi Maimane was to investigate the issue of the R500,000 donation, and the potential conflict of interest on the president's part. And in the motivation of that complaint, we were explicitly clear that this donation raises suspicion of money laundering so it was up to the public protector to look at all possible issues to investigate.

Solly Malatsi, National spokesperson - DA

Malatsi says Mkhwebane has now seemingly decided to broaden that scope to also look at potential money laundering.

There is no inconsistency between the submission of the complaint that we submitted and what the Public Protector then decided in extending the scope of that investigation.

Solly Malatsi, National spokesperson - DA

He adds that Business Day should be explaining itself in this regard.

In the initial complaint, we expressed that these are two critical points that should be investigated, and we said that these transactions raise possible money-laundering issues. It is up to the public protector to then determine how broad the investigation takes.

Solly Malatsi, National spokesperson - DA

Malatsi says the DA will have a conclusive view on Mkhwebane's investigation once it has seen her report.

Segwale says the public protector never decided to broaden the scope of her investigation.

The scope has always included those three issues that we refer to in our statement. Firstly, the president responding to question regarding this donation misled Parliament. Secondly, there may have been a conflict between the president's private interest and his official duties. Lastly, there was an allegation about money laundering. Those are the issues contained in the DA's complaint.

Oupa Segwale, Spokesperson - Public Protector's office

He adds that the office will not comment on alleged leaked information by the Sunday Times.

But we are not investigating the so-called R400m. We made it clear in the statement we issued today what the scope of the investigation is. The allegation of money laundering relates to what was allegedly donated to the president's ANC campaign.

Oupa Segwale, Spokesperson - Public Protector's office

Listen below to the full interview:


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