Public Protector finds Ramaphosa 'deliberately misled' Parliament over R500 000 Bosasa payment

2019-07-19 11:34
President Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

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Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has found that President Cyril Ramaphosa deliberately misled Parliament when he responded to a question about a R500 000 donation to his 2017 ANC presidential campaign in November last year.

Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa's actions were inconsistent with his office as deputy president at the time.

She also found that Ramaphosa breached the Executive Ethics Code by failing to disclose financial interest accrued to him as a result of the donations received for the so-called CR17 campaign.

The Public Protector found that the donation should have been disclosed. Ramaphosa said he disclosed interests every year and continued to do so.

Mkhwebane released her report on the Bosasa donation saga on Friday morning at her offices in Pretoria. 

Ramaphosa was confronted by DA leader Mmusi Maimane with a signed affidavit by former Bosasa auditor Peet Venter, which revealed that a R500 000 payment was made to an attorney's trust account named 'EFG2' in October 2017.

Venter's affidavit stated that the payment was for the Andile Ramaphosa Foundation, but no such foundation exists.

Ramaphosa responded in the National Assembly, saying he was aware that his son was in business with Bosasa and the payment formed part of the contract.

READ: Ramaphosa admits his son has done business with Bosasa

But later that week, the president wrote a letter to then speaker Baleka Mbete, correcting his reply to Maimane. The R500 000 was in fact, a donation to his CR17 campaign (or ANC presidential campaign), by Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.

The correction sparked a complaint from Maimane to the Public Protector, who asked Mkhwebane to probe suspicions of money laundering involving the donation and whether Ramaphosa lied to Parliament.

Krugersdorp-based facilities management and security company Bosasa, now named African Global Operations, has come under fire in recent months as bombshell testimony before the state capture commission of inquiry in which it was alleged that the company bribed government officials for years to secure tenders.

Ramaphosa submitted his final response to notices of adverse findings against him, issued by the Public Protector as part of her probe, earlier this month. 

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*This is a developing story.

While we take a closer look at the report, here is our coverage of the Ramaphosa and Bosasa drama since November last year:

Ramaphosa's son denies receiving R500 000 Bosasa payment

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s son has denied that a R500 000 payment by corruption accused company Bosasa was for his benefit.

Bosasa CEO's 'hidden' R500K donation to Ramaphosa deconstructed

Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson's R500 000 "donation" to President Cyril Ramaphosa's ANC presidential campaign in October last year, was designed to be hidden from scrutiny. Piecing together the mechanics of the payment, News24 has found obvious attempts to shield the identity of the donor from the recipient, being Ramaphosa's campaign.

From China to Krugersdorp: Andile Ramaphosa and the Bosasa 'billions'

Andile Ramaphosa, the son of President Cyril Ramaphosa, has a far closer relationship with corruption-accused facilities management and security company Bosasa than he and his father have been willing to admit - until now.

In an exclusive interview on Monday, Ramaphosa Jr confirmed key details of a News24 investigation spanning several months which lifts the lid on the secretive relationship between one of the country's most controversial companies and a son of the president.

Ramaphosa Jr's Blue Crane Capital netted around R2m in accumulated monthly payments from the Krugersdorp company since February 2018, he confirmed.

OPINION: Clear and Present Danger – Ramaphosa, Bosasa and the Mkhwebane quandary

It is highly conceivable, and in fact probable, that Mkhwebane will find against Ramaphosa, particularly if she managed to obtain unseen evidence about the relationship between Ramaphosa Jr and Bosasa and what the president knew when he responded to Maimane.

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Read more on:    public protector  |  parliament  |  cyril ramaphosa  |  busisi­we mkhwebane  |  gavin watson  |  bosasa
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