President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Sunday that he would seek a judicial review of the Public Protector's findings against him, stating that Busisiwe Mkhwebane had violated the Public Protector Act.
He claimed her report was 'fundamentally and irretrievably' flawed and that she had overstepped her powers.
On Friday Mkhwebane released a report that found Ramaphosa deliberately misled Parliament in relation to a R500, 000 donation to his African National Congress (ANC) election campaign fund from Bosasa (African Global Operations).
The Human Science Research Council's Gary Pienaar says Ramaphosa's public address should not be viewed lightly.
It is extremely significant that when one challenges the findings, of the nature that the Public Protector made against him, he addressed the nation directly. It shows that he is taking responsibility for communicating directly with the public.— Advocate Gary Pienaar, Senior research manager - HSRC
Pienaar says there were very serious findings made by the Public Protector against Ramaphosa, in that he rendered himself guilty of a conflict of interest.
Those are very serious accusations and as we know the office of the president must be held to a very high standard. We are entitled as the public a very high level of integrity from the president.— Advocate Gary Pienaar, Senior research manager - HSRC
There is a fundamental issue that the Public Protector seems to have assumed but doesn't set out the legal basis on which she basis her mandate. That is the separation between party and State.— Advocate Gary Pienaar, Senior research manager - HSRC
Pienaar believes that there is a strong argument to be made that the president was acting in his personal capacity in the CR17 campaign, therefore he didn't need to disclose the funds that were being raised.
He kept himself deliberately at arm's length from that fundraising, he didn't want to know who was giving donations precisely in order to avoid a conflict of interest. I don't agree with the Public Protector that the president ought to have disclosed the funds raised.— Advocate Gary Pienaar, Senior research manager - HSRC
Listen below to the full interview: