Natasha Marrian Deputy editor: Financial Mail

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on donations to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2017 campaign for the ANC presidency was intended to politically destroy him. Following the release of her report on the R500,000 donation from the late Gavin Watson, CEO of African Global Operations (formerly Bosasa), Ramaphosa’s opponents waged an unrelenting propaganda battle, releasing details of his funders on a weekly basis and trying to paint him as a bought and captured president.

It was an attempt to reprise the way that former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report haunted president Jacob Zuma for most of his second term, until he eventually conceded in the Constitutional Court and paid back some of the taxpayer funds spent on upgrading his private homestead.

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