ANC to probe mysterious disappearance of clause on internal campaign funds

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President Cyril Ramaphosa's detractors accuse him of contravening a rule that was mysteriously dropped in 2012. (Dino Lloyd, Gallo Images)
President Cyril Ramaphosa's detractors accuse him of contravening a rule that was mysteriously dropped in 2012. (Dino Lloyd, Gallo Images)
  • The ANC is set to probe the mysterious disappearance of a clause from its constitution on campaign funding.
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa's detractors accuse him of breaking ANC rules with regards to raising campaign funds. 
  • Health Minister Zweli Mkhize heads the committee that will be looking into the matter. 

The ANC is set to probe the mysterious disappearance of a clause from the party's constitution after its 2012 national conference in Mangaung, under which President Cyril Ramaphosa could have been charged for raising private funds for his campaigns. 

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize chairs the party committee charged with the responsibility to probe the matter.

Ramaphosa made no mention of the national executive committee's concern in the text of his closing address to the committee.

The speech was released to the media on Sunday and journalists were not invited to log into the Zoom meeting to listen in on it, as had been the case with previous recent meetings.

A statement from the ANC, which was released on Tuesday, read:

The NEC also noted with concern the omission of Rule 25.5(u) dealing with "the giving, collecting or raising of funds for campaigning activities within the ANC aimed at influencing the outcome of a conference or meeting" from the ANC constitution after the 53rd National Conference and requested the NEC sub-committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs to investigate the matter and report to the officials.

The "missing" clause was discussed together with the party's proposed guidelines on leaders stepping aside when facing criminal charges - an issue that party treasurer general Paul Mashatile was tasked with.

This includes the "alignment of the ANC constitution with the Constitution of the Republic".

READ | CR17 campaign funds: Ramaphosa admits he should not have asked ANC integrity committee for delay

Ramaphosa last month, in an interview with Power FM's Lukhona Mnguni, said the clause, which was inserted into the party's constitution at the 2007 conference, "just fell away" as the constitution was "redone" following discussions in Mangaung. He added: "I don't think it was deliberate."

Ramaphosa's detractors have accused him of having contravened that clause in his 2017 campaign, which was bankrolled with money fundraised from various private donors.

Ramaphosa said if the funds "were utilised to buy votes" it would have been a contravention, but he believed that his campaign used it "to engage in the process to allow people to attend meetings... to hire venues, [and] to travel". He said the most important thing was to account for all the money spent.


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