Public Protector grants Ramaphosa extension to respond in Bosasa donation saga

2019-06-21 17:27
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation address on June 20, 2019, in Cape Town. (Jeffrey Abrahams/GALLO)

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation address on June 20, 2019, in Cape Town. (Jeffrey Abrahams/GALLO)

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The Public Protector has granted President Cyril Ramaphosa more time to respond to allegations relating to a campaign donation to him by Bosasa, her office confirmed on Friday.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's spokesperson Oupa Segalwe said the president requested an extension until next Friday and she granted it with the hope that he would respond sooner.

Ramaphosa had cited preparations for the State of the Nation Address as denying him an opportunity to consult with his legal team, Segalwe added.

Segalwe pointed out that the Public Protector's office had brought Ramaphosa's attention to evidence that implicated him and that is why he needed to respond, before a report could be drawn up.

Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko said that Mkhwebane asked for a response "as soon as possible".

"The President will therefore work on responding, appreciating the urgency attached to the matter."

The presidency previously confirmed that it received a section 7(9) notice from Mkhwebane with respect to an investigation into allegations of violations of the Executive Ethics Code.

Bosasa, these days known as African Global Operations (AGO), has been embroiled in a number of corruption scandals after its former COO Angelo Agrizzi opened a Pandora's box of allegations of bribery involving several senior ANC members in his testimony before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

News24 previously reported that the Bosasa cloud has been hanging over Ramaphosa's head since November last year, when he told the National Assembly, in an answer to a question from DA leader Mmusi Maimane, that his son had received money from Bosasa for services rendered in terms of a consultancy contract.

He told Parliament then that he had seen the contract.

Ramaphosa later backtracked in a letter to then-speaker Baleka Mbete, saying the R500 000 payment from Bosasa was actually a donation to his ANC presidential campaign, which he had been unaware of.

It later emerged that Andile Ramaphosa did indeed do consultancy work for Bosasa, and his father refused to disclose how much he was paid for this work when Maimane questioned it in the National Assembly in March this year, saying the issue was with the Public Protector.

Maimane laid a complaint with the Public Protector in November last year, alleging the president had misled the National Assembly over this issue.

He said this week that he had written to Speaker Thandi Modise to ask for an ad hoc committee to process the pending Public Protector report on Bosasa.

Ramaphosa has asked to cross-examine Maimane and other witnesses interviewed by Mkhwebane as part of her investigation.

She indicated that she has asked Ramaphosa for a list of questions he wanted to ask, "so that I can determine whether it is justifiable to allow that".

Read more on:    ramaphosa  |  cyril  |  busisi­we mkhwebane  |  parliament  |  bosasa
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