In a report published in 2019, the Mediator of the Republic Busisiwe Mkhwebane, in charge of the fight against corruption, had accused Mr. Ramaphosa of having deliberately misled the National Assembly in his response to a question from a deputy of ‘opposition.
She also said she had evidence of money laundering, conflict of interest and personal enrichment – which the president disputed.
The High Court of Justice overturned the report last year, and the Constitutional Court upheld the ruling on Thursday.
“The mediator of the Republic was wrong on the facts and on the legal level as regards the question of knowing if the president had deliberately deceived the Parliament”, Judge Chris Jafta said.
According to Judge Jafta, no evidence has come to support the allegations of money laundering or that the president personally benefited from campaign donations. He added that investigations into “the private affairs of political parties” fell outside the competence of the mediator.
The allegations date back to November 2018, when the leader of the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, Mmusi Maimane, asked Mr. Ramaphosa to clarify a payment of 500,000 rand ($ 35,000) to his son from the official. from a South African company named African Global Operations (AGO).
Questioned by deputies, the Head of State initially replied that this sum had been paid to his son Andile, a consultant for the company in question, Bosasa.
Then he backtracked by asserting that it was an electoral donation made, according to him, without his knowledge. He had pleaded good faith, assuring that he did not have the right information when he answered the question in Parliament. The mediator then opened an investigation into this case.
Cyril Ramaphosa won the presidency of the African National Congress (ANC) in December 2017 and then took the reins of the country in February 2018 after the resignation of Jacob Zuma, implicated in politico-financial scandals. He has made the fight against corruption his hobbyhorse.