Ramaphosa campaign funds: 'Money laundering claims are bizarre'

2019-06-23 21:59
President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Gallo Images/Netwerk24/Jaco Marais)

President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Gallo Images/Netwerk24/Jaco Marais)

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President Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign managers have slammed media reports that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is investigating money laundering related to his 2017 ANC presidential campaign as "bizarre" and "baseless".

In a statement released late on Sunday, CR17 campaign manager Bejani Chauke poured cold water on a Sunday Times report that quoted sources saying Mkhwebane had extended the scope of her probe to include possible money laundering, spanning over three bank accounts.

READ: Ramaphosa campaign funds: Mkhwebane goes for a R400m KO

Mkhwebane was asked by DA leader Mmusi Maimane in November last year to investigate a R500 000 payment, at the time believed to have been paid by corruption-accused company Bosasa to his son, Andile Ramaphosa.

It later transpired the payment, mentioned in an affidavit by former Bosasa auditor Peet Venter, was in fact a donation to the CR17 campaign by Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson.

James Motlatsi, who also managed the CR17 campaign and is considered one of Ramaphosa's closest advisors, previously told eNCA he had asked Watson for the donation.

News24 previously reported the account used was managed by Sandton law firm, Edelstein Farber Grobler and the payment was designed to be hidden from scrutiny.

"There is no basis whatsoever for even a suspicion of money laundering," Chauke’s statement reads.

He also dismissed reports that R400m in donations was amassed during the campaign, reported by the newspaper, as "wholly inaccurate".

"We are concerned that claims of this nature are being drip fed into the public space with the clear intention to damage the reputation of the President and to create uncertainty," he added.  

"As the former campaign managers of CR17, we have been assisting the Public Protector in her investigation and have been available to explain the nature of the campaign’s operations and funding," the statement continued.

"The CR17 campaign was funded by a broad range of individuals from across South Africa who supported the objectives of the campaign. These funds were paid into accounts established for this purpose and were used to cover the costs of the campaign such as stipends, travelling, communications and promotional material, meeting venues and accommodation. In the process, all legal and regulatory requirements were met."

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Read more on:    public protector  |  bosasa  |  anc  |  cyril rampahosa  |  politics
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