South Africa’s Ramaphosa hits out at graft watchdog

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday accused the country’s anti-corruption watchdog of violating his privacy by leaking confidential banking information about the financial contributors to his 2017 campaign to head the ruling ANC party.

Ramaphosa and South Africa’s anti-corruption ombudswoman or Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, have locked horns in recent weeks after she published a damning report accusing him of lying to parliament over his campaign fundraising to become president of the ANC.

Ramaphosa became the president of the African National Congress in December 2017 beating a candidate backed by scandal-tainted former president Jacob Zuma. Since then the ANC has been bitterly split between supporters of Zuma, who resigned last year amid graft allegations, and those backing Ramaphosa, who came to power vowing to fight corruption.

Appointed during Zuma’s rule, the ombudswoman has been accused of political meddling in favour of the president’s opponents in a factional power struggle in the ANC.

In a statement late Saturday, the presidency said Ramaphosa had been made aware that confidential banking information of his campaign contributors, had been leaked to the media.