Cyril Ramaphosa is heading to court with the EFF in court over the disclosure of documents related to the money for his CR-17 election campaign.
Peter Harris, Ramaphosa’s lawyer, said on Thursday that he had received instructions to oppose the EFF’s application in the High Court in Pretoria.
The EFF wants the documents, which include bank statements from Ramaphosa’s accounts of his 2017 campaign to become president of the ANC, to be made public.
The documents have been sealed for more than a year by order of the court after Busisiwe Mkhwebane, the Public Protector, submitted it late at the time in support of a report.
In the report, she found, among other things, that Ramaphosa had misled parliament about a R500 000 donation that the late Gavin Watson made to the campaign through his company Bosasa. Ramaphosa said he did not deliberately mislead parliament because he was not aware of the donation.
However, EFF Secretary-General Marshall Dlamini said in an affidavit that it was in the public interest that the sealed documents, parts of which had already been leaked to the media, be made public.
“If there is nothing improper about the donations, there is no reason why it cannot be made public,” he said.
He believes there are valid reasons to believe that the documents could show whether Ramaphosa was hijacked, although the court ruled that Ramaphosa did not personally receive money from the campaign.
“What also causes the secrecy of the CR17 campaign’s private funding is fertile ground for the hijacking of the first respondent (Ramaphosa) and therefore compromises its ability to fulfill its constitutional obligations independently,” Dlamini said in his affidavit.
Dlamini argues that it is not far-fetched to reason like this. He pointed to Watson’s donation and to evidence before the Zondo Commission which showed that Watson had paid bribes to officials at the time.
Ramaphosa’s legal team at the time argued that the documents should remain secret because they contain sensitive information from third parties.