Opposition parties are piling pressure on President Cyril Ramaphosa to come clean on the funding he received from controversial facilities management company Bosasa for his presidential candidacy in the ANC.
This happens as the former CR17 campaign management team on Sunday said they would audit money raised for his candidacy and return R500000 made on behalf of Bosasa’s Gavin Watson.
Ramaphosa wrote to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete on Friday clarifying his previous response to a parliamentary question from DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who asked him about a payment made to his son Andile.
He had told the National Assembly that Andile’s company had a contract with African Global Operations, formerly called Bosasa, for consultancy services.
In his letter, Ramaphosa said he had been informed that the payment did not relate to that contract.
“The donation was made without my knowledge. I was not aware of the existence of the donation at the time that I answered the question,” Ramaphosa wrote.
On Sunday, the CR17 campaign team said their fundraising team confirmed that the R500 000 was paid into a trust account.
They insisted that no funds were transferred to the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, his relations or to Ramaphosa himself.
But Maimane said Ramaphosa should appoint an independent inquiry headed by a retired judge to fully investigate the Bosasa scandal.
“He must appoint an independent inquiry to investigate Bosasa’s likely corrupt influence on the government and the ANC. This inquiry should also determine whether the president lied to Parliament when he answered my question about this payment,” Maimane said.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said Ramaphosa should return to Parliament to answer on the matter.
“He has taken an oath as the president. We should give him the benefit of doubt,” Holomisa added.
He said the letter sent to Mbete for circulation to MPs was not enough.
“He can’t just issue a statement. He must come back. He is accountable first and foremost to the National Assembly.”
EFF leader Julius Malema said in Joburg on Sunday that Ramaphosa would have to come clean about who funded his ANC presidential campaign.
“We want to know how much money did he get and from who. We know that business does not just finance for no apparent reason. Did the meeting take place? Can we get the minutes of the meeting? What were the commitments before the money was released?” Malema asked.
He said those calling for Ramaphosa’s removal were jumping the gun, because he had to be held to account first. “We want the real answers,” he said.
IFP spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said Ramaphosa appeared to have misled the National Assembly.
“The IFP calls upon the speaker to immediately refer this matter for investigation and possible sanction in terms of the existing procedures for such breaches of trust and good faith,” Hlengwa said.
Joint ethics and members’ interests committee co-chairperson Omie Singh said they could act only once they had received a complaint from an MP or a member of the public.