‘No basis to Forbes’s figure of $55 mln for Ramphele’

2013-08-26 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Agang SA’s leader

Mamphela Ramphele does not have to explain the origins of the extra couple of zeroes an American magazine had been added to her income.

Ramphele last week declared her financial interests and challenged President Jacob Zuma to do the same. Her investments and income, as declared, amounted to about R55 million.

Agang spokesperson Thabo Leshilo, yesterday confirmed these figures.

The Sunday Independent however reported that Ramphele was listed in 2011 in the Forbes.com website as one of the nine richest women in Africa, with at least $50 million behind her name. At the current exchange rate and without taking into account any inflation, the newspaper estimated that this fortune should amount to R500 million in 2013.

Forbes reported that Ramphele rubs shoulders with heavyweights like mining magnate Brigette Radebe, who is married to Justice Minister Jeff Radebe; as well as property magnates like Wendy Appelbaum and Pam Golding.

Forbes said it stood by its list and asked why Ramphele had not questioned the figure in 2011.

Leshilo said it was unfair to expect Ramphele to explain how Forbes had arrived at the number they printed.

He said Forbes had listed Ramphele without any explanation on how they had calculated the figure.

Until there was an explanation and objective numbers, it was unfair to expect Ramphele to explain the alleged contradiction, he said.

He said if she had herself declared that she had financial interests valued at $50 million two years ago, then she would have had to explain the difference.

Leshilo said the public should not expect the same candour when it came to explaining who was funding Agang-SA. He said that for a party to expose its donors amounted to political suicide.

Leshilo said it was an unhappy fact that party political funding was not transparent, because it would be good for the public to know.

He said the reality was that donors who rely on government contracts do not want to be exposed, and Agang SA respects this.

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