Malema ‘shocked’ by Ramaphosa’s alleged lack of transparency over CR17 documents

EFF leader Julius Malema
EFF leader Julius Malema

EFF leader Julius Malema has expressed dismay with the Pretoria high court's decision to dismiss the party's application to have bank records of President Cyril Ramaphosa's 2017 presidential campaign unsealed.

The EFF had asked the court to lift a seal on the information that was placed by Aubrey Ledwaba, deputy judge president of the Gauteng division of the high court.

The records were obtained by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane during her CR17 investigation. She handed the records to the high court when the president challenged her report.

The application was dismissed with costs.

Speaking on KayaFM, Malema said the court's decision was shocking.

“How can you dismiss a matter of public interest with costs? You are using money to discourage people from taking the powerful head on,” said Malema. “Since we are a political organisation acting in the public interest, why do you impose money? You want to use money to suppress people from holding the powerful accountable. They do not have money.”

Malema said Ramaphosa has big influence and should be held accountable.

“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 these people that financed the president because you might find that they are the ones actually running the state,” said Malema. 

He said Ramaphosa was elected under the banner of transparency and he should maintain that stance by releasing the documents so that the country can know what is contained in them.

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 as to 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.