The Pretoria high court’s decision to keep bank records for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2017 presidential campaign sealed has sparked a major debate.
On Tuesday, the court dismissed the EFF’s application to have the records made public.
The records were obtained by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane during her CR17 investigation. She handed them to the high court when Ramaphosa challenged her report.
The application was dismissed with costs.
Speaking on Kaya FM this week, EFF leader Julius Malema questioned the court’s decision to dismiss the matter with costs, saying it is “using money to discourage people from taking the powerful head on”.
He said Ramaphosa was elected under the banner of transparency and should maintain that stance by releasing the documents so the country knows what is contained in them.
“Ramaphosa holds a very big influence. Those who finance him, he develops a soft spot for them, and to hold him accountable you ought to know who are the people who financed the president because you might find they are the ones actually running the state,” said Malema.
Delivering the decision to dismiss the EFF’s application, judge Cassim Sardiwalla said the issues raised in it were not new.
He said he could not identify any right on behalf of the party or in the interest of justice that would warrant the disclosure of the CR17 bank records.
“I can find no compelling reasons why the material should be disclosed to the public at large. The applicant has not advanced any public or private good that will be served by public disclosure as against the personal danger in which parties of the CR17 campaign concerned and their activities will be placed,” said Sardiwalla.