Cape Town – The office of South African Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is investigating an executive ethics complaint lodged against President Cyril Ramaphosa by “a Member of Parliament”, the office confirmed on Thursday.
According to News24, the complaint was filed by Mervyn Dirk, a suspended African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament, in response to an audio clip in which Ramaphosa can be heard admitting that the ANC used public funds for party purposes, and implying that the funds came from the State Security Agency (SSA).
“The Public Protector South Africa (PPSA) wishes to confirm that a complaint, in which a Member of Parliament has alleged a breach of the Executive Code of Ethics against the President, reached the office late afternoon on Wednesday, January 26, 2022. The complaint was lodged in terms of the Executive Members Ethics Act 82 of 1998 (EMEA). The PPSA has been inundated with queries about the complaint since the sitting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts earlier in the week,” said the public protector’s office in a statement.
It added: “The EMEA further provides that such an investigation must be completed within 30 days. The PPSA is the only accountability institution empowered under the EMEA to enforce executive ethics.”
Read the full PPSA statement below:
The Public Protector South Africa confirms receipt of Executive Ethics complaint against the President. pic.twitter.com/wpOPSJWp4U
— Public Protector SA (@PublicProtector) January 27, 2022
Dirk, initially first wrote to the chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), Mkhuleko Hlengwa, last year, bringing the contents of the audio to his attention.
However, after the ruling party learned about his letter to the Scopa, he was suspended, The Citizen reported.
Times Live reported on Wednesday that Dirk appeared before Scopa, where he further urged the Committee to summon Ramaphosa, saying that the president knew about the misuse of public funds, therefore, he was in serious breach of the Ethics Code
He also confirmed that he had written a letter to Mkhwebane.
“I have already addressed by having written a formal letter of complaint to the public protector,” the report quoted Dirk as saying.
Meanwhile, Scopa has given Ramaphosa seven to ten days to “explain” himself to the Committee.
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo