President Cyril Ramaphosa’s son has denied that a R500 000 payment by corruption accused company Bosasa was for his benefit.
Andile Ramaphosa spoke to News24 shortly after the president, responding to a question from DA leader Mmusi Maimane in the National Assembly on Tuesday, confirmed that he was aware that his son had a business relationship with Bosasa.
Maimane brandished a proof of payment which has a handwritten note - "Andile Ramaphosa payment on instruction [Bosasa CEO] Gavin Watson" - and the party later released a sworn affidavit by auditor Peet Venter in which the payment is mentioned.
The October 2017 payment of R500 000 was made to an Absa bank account believed to be an attorney’s trust account. The Payment name is "Efg2".
Venter states he was instructed by Watson to make the payment to the trust account, and that it was “for” Andile Ramaphosa.
The payment was made from the FNB bank account of the company Miotto Trading and Advisory Holdings, a company under Venter’s control but linked to Bosasa.
According to Venter’s affidavit, he was instructed by Watson to transfer an amount of R3m from his personal bank account to Miotto’s account.
He was instructed to make a R2.5m payment from the Miotto account for the purchase of a home for another Bosasa employee. The remaining R500 000 was then paid to "Efg2".
'I have absolutely nothing to do with this'
Venter states in his affidavit: "I was merely told it was for a foundation/trust of Andile Ramaphosa… I found this strange, but wouldn’t dare question Gavin Watson."
Ramaphosa said he had been made aware of the issue some time ago and had questioned Andile "at close range" over the matter, and satisfied himself that there was no irregularity or corruption involved.
He did confirm, however, that his son had a legitimate business contract with Bosasa through his company, which offers financial consulting services.
Ramaphosa Jr was adamant that the particular payment which the DA had flagged had "nothing to do with him".
"My company has always done things properly"
"I have absolutely nothing to do with this. I have never received such a payment," he said.
Ramaphosa Jr said his company had exceptionally strict measures in place to prevent corrupt practices from entering into its deals.
He confirmed that he had been grilled by his father on the issue.
"My company has always done things properly. Any business deal we go into, we tell our clients this is how we do things, and we ask them to sign policies which would allow us to terminate at any stage if any issues like corruption arise. We don’t take shortcuts," he said.
'I will take him to the police station myself'
Ramaphosa Jr said he welcomed a thorough investigation into the issue and looked forward to uncovering why his name had been used.
Meanwhile, his father said in Parliament: "If it turns out there was any irregularity or corruption, I will be the first, I assure you Mr Maimane, I will be the first to make sure be becomes accountable. I will take him to the police station myself."
Bosasa spokesperson Papa Leshabane told News24 that it accepted Ramaphosa’s version.
"If the President has given an explanation, we will stick with what he says," Leshabane said on Tuesday.
Bosasa, which changed its name to African Global Operations last year, made headlines since 2008 for allegedly bribing prisons officials in exchange for billions of rands in tenders, including catering, security and fencing at prisons around the country.
Recently, News24 revealed that Bosasa had installed CCTV and security systems at the homes of high profile ANC leaders and ministers, including Gwede Mantashe and Nomvula Mokonyane.
Top ANC MP and former chairperson of the Constitutional Review Committee looking into amending the Constitution on issues of land reform, Vincent Smith, received cash payments into a business account from Bosasa, which he has claimed were loans.
The matters are now under investigation by the Parliamentary Ethics Committee.
*Do you have have information for our investigative journalists? Send an email to email@example.com