President Cyril Ramaphosa has backtracked on a response he gave before the National Assembly 10 days ago over a R500 000 payment from Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson, allegedly for the benefit of his son, Andile.
The October 2017 payment was actually a donation towards his ANC presidential campaign which Ramaphosa states was made without his knowledge.
This emerged in a letter Ramaphosa drafted to the speaker of the National Assembly dated November 14, saying he had inadvertently provided incorrect information in his response.
Ramaphosa responded to a question from DA leader Mmusi Maimane over the payment by saying that he had questioned Andile Ramaphosa and learned that the payment was in respect of a consultancy contract his son’s company had signed with Bosasa, now named African Global Operations.
But just hours later, Andile denied to News24 that this specific payment ever reached him.
No relation to contract
“My reply to the question was based on the information that was at my disposal at the time, regarding a business relationship that my son’s company has with the company African Global Operations,” Ramaphosa’s letter to the Speaker reads.
Since his reply, Ramaphosa said, he had sought more information regarding the matter.
“I have been subsequently informed that the payment referred to...does not relate to that contract,” it continues.
“I have been told that the payment to which the leader of the opposition referred was made on behalf of Mr Gavin Watson into a trust account that was used to raise funds for a campaign established to support my candidature for the Presidency of the African National Congress.”
On Thursday News24 had established that the attorney’s trust account the funds were paid into belongs to Sandton-based law firm Edelstein Farber Grobler and subsequently reached out to the firm to establish the circumstances surrounding the payment.
On Friday morning, the firm responded and confirmed the trust account did belong to them.
“Mr Andile Ramaphosa is not and has never been a client of EFG and EFG has never received any funds on his behalf,” EFG said in a written response.
“As you are aware, our trust account is confidential and privileged, and as such, we cannot divulge or disclose details or information regarding our trust account.”
News24 further established that EFG was acknowledged in an annual report of the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation.