- The showdown between President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has begun
- The Gauteng High Court heard Ramaphosa's opening arguments on Monday
- Advocate Wim Trengrove is adamant Mkhwebane's behavior in her report against Ramaphosa was 'reckless'
The matter between President Cyril Ramaphosa and Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane kicked off in the Gauteng High Court on Tuesday.
The court heard Ramaphosa's Wim Trengove insist the president had done nothing wrong and that Mkhwebane had been on the wrong side of both the law and fact in her findings, reports News24.
Trengove argued that Mkhwebane had acted with 'reckless determination to make a finding against the president':
"We submit that the Public Protector finding there is a suspicion of money laundering is unfounded… there is not a smidgen of evidence that there is money laundering. The finding was irrational, unfounded, and shows a reckless determination to make findings against the president."
In compensation for this transgression, in their view, Ramaphosa's team is seeking punitive costs:
"This court should express its displeasure with the Public Protector, and make an order of punitive costs. We are not asking for costs in her personal capacity, but we are seeking a punitive order of costs in recognition of her conduct."
Briefly.co.za reported that Mkhwebane had accused Ramaphosa of money-laundering in her report probing Ramaphosa's 2017 presidential campaign.
The complaint against Ramaphosa was laid by the Democratic Alliance leader at the time Mmusi Maimane.
Trengove told the court that Maimane had told the president about the controversial BOSASA donation, denouncing Mkhwebane for the mistake:
"It was Mr [Mmusi] Maimane who told the president who the money had been paid to. It's hard to understand how a lawyer could make such a mistake."
Enjoyed reading our story? Download BRIEFLY's news app on Google Play now and stay up-to-date with major South African news!