Johannesburg, Jul 20 (PTI): The identities of the donors of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2017 election campaign will remain a secret after a high court ruling on Tuesday.
The opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), created by Julius Malema after he was ousted from the African National Congress (ANC), had brought an application to have the bank records of Ramaphosa made public, citing that this was in public interest.
EFF had argued that keeping Ramaphosa’s financial details secret could create the risk for politicians to use their public office status to benefit the donors.
Judge Elmarie van der Schyff of the Pretoria high court dismissed with costs the EFF attempt to force Ramaphosa to reveal the names of those who had funded his multimillion-rand campaign.
The campaign culminated in Ramaphosa being elected president of ANC and automatically made him the party’s presidential candidate in the ensuing election.
This was after Ramaphosa had been acting in the position for a few months following then president Jacob Zuma’s ousting after a public outcry over his alleged involvement in corrupt and fraudulent activities.
Malema expressed his disappointment over the court ruling.
“What happened to public interest? Our courts, to say I’m disappointed, is an understatement,” Malema tweeted.
Earlier, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said Ramaphosa had misled parliament in 2018 about donations to his fund.
But the high court ruled that Mkhwebane had exceeded her powers and made grave errors in fact and law.
Mkhwebane took the ruling to the apex court, which concurred with the high court ruling.
The EFF had supported Mkhwebane at the apex court. PTI FH SCY SCY
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