CR17 campaign raised over a billion, Mkhwebane tells inquiry

CR17 campaign raised over a billion, Mkhwebane tells inquiry

Suspended public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane told the parliamentary committee looking into her fitness to hold office that President Cyril Ramaphosa's 2017 campaign to become ANC leader raised at least R1.2 billion.

Suspended Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane

Mkhwebane was back at the witness stand in the section 194 inquiry on Wednesday, detailing how her office followed the money donated to the CR17 campaign.

Mkhwebane was appointed by former president Jacob Zuma in 2016 at the end of former public protector Thuli Madonsela's term.

She told the inquiry that the evidence of money moving between different accounts played a role in her referring the matter to NPA to investigate for possible money laundering.

Although the court has invalidated her report on Ramaphosa's 2017 campaign, she maintained that she did not overstep her mandate by investigating the CR17 campaign and ordering national prosecutions head Shamila Batohi to investigate possible money laundering.

In her 2019 report, Mkwebane found that Ramaphosa deliberately misled Parliament when he answered a question on a R500 000 donation to the campaign from late Bosasa boss Gavin Watson.

She told the inquiry that Ramaphosa's campaign managers estimated donations to have been worth around R200 million, but her investigation uncovered at least R1.2 billion which was moved between different accounts.

"Indeed there were amounts of around R400m, R300m and I qualified as well that even if we can calculate the total, it is an estimation of possibly R1.2 billion.

"But in that estimation, I remember there were various accounts so monies were moving from one account to the other, so it's R1,2 billion but you'll find that same money moved twice.

"Our focus was following the R500,000, hence then the uncovering of all this," said Mkhwebane.


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