Ramaphosa campaign donation: ANC media briefing to clear up confusion no longer on the cards

2019-08-06 12:07
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and President Cyril Ramaphosa.  (Gallo)

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Gallo)

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The ANC's top brass will no longer hold a media briefing it intended to call to clear up confusion relating to the funding of President Cyril Ramaphosa's 2017 campaign for the party presidency after emails were leaked.

On Tuesday, Minister in the Presidency and national executive committee (NEC) member Jackson Mthembu tweeted that a briefing that would be held on Wednesday to "remove any confusion regarding who was responsible for what".

But, two hours later, he took to Twitter again and tweeted that it was clear the matter was being dealt with and that the briefing would no longer go ahead.

Mthembu declined to comment when News24 contacted him.

Over the weekend, News24  published a report which poked holes in Ramaphosa's claim that he knew nothing about his campaign funding during the build up to the ANC's 2017 national elective conference where he was elected party president. 

Leaked emails News24 obtained showed that Ramaphosa was consulted by his campaign managers on certain potential donors, despite consistent denials from his team that he was not involved in any fundraising efforts.

The leaked emails formed part of Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report into DA and EFF complaints about a response Ramaphosa had given to DA leader Mmusi Maimane in Parliament in November 2018.

READ: ANALYSIS: Ramaphosa's donors are hanging him out to dry

Maimane asked about a supposed payment to the president's son, Andile, from corruption-accused company Bosasa (now African Global Operations).

But it turned out the payment Maimane mentioned was actually a donation to Ramaphosa's campaign for the party presidency from Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson – which Ramaphosa himself revealed in a letter to the speaker of Parliament.

Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa had deliberately misled Parliament over the donation and in reaching her conclusion, she relied on the emails.

Ramaphosa has indicated that he intends to challenge the report in court.

On Monday, Presidency spokesperson Khusela Diko told eNCA that Ramaphosa did not commit any crime and was, and is, under no obligation to declare the donors to his 2017 ANC presidential campaign.

"We are quite perturbed by the narrative being built around these emails. Yes, we appreciate that South Africans have a legitimate right to want to know who funded the campaign, but there was no obligation on the part of the president or the campaign to release that particular information," Diko said.

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Read more on:    cr17  |  anc  |  cyril rama­phosa  |  politics
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