Alleged Bosasa payment into Ramaphosa's ANC election campaign raises its head ahead of SONA

President Cyril Ramaphosa gestures during a talk at the start of the African Development Bank’s Africa Investment Forum in Sandton (GCIS).
President Cyril Ramaphosa gestures during a talk at the start of the African Development Bank’s Africa Investment Forum in Sandton (GCIS).

Less than a week before President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers his State of the Nation Address to Parliament, the issue of his son's links to Bosasa and money allegedly paid into the president's ANC election campaign has again raised its head.

Ramaphosa cannot apparently pay Bosasa the R500 000 his presidential campaign received from the controversial company, after it has now emerged that the money was actually from a third party.

According to forensic investigator Paul O'Sullivan, the "CR17" campaign has placed the money in a separate attorney's trust account, that of Harris Nupen Molebatsi Attorneys, pending a finalisation as to what should legally happen to the funds.

O'Sullivan said that the "third party" was in liquidation, and that it was now clear that the bank account was operated unlawfully.

O'Sullivan's Forensics for Justice company, in a written response to the DA's Mmusi Maimane, said that it "acts for Andile Ramaphosa, in a pro bono capacity and confirm he has not paid us, or agreed to pay us for this matter".

"We have advised Mr Andile Ramaphosa that your request as per above is materially defective in a number of ways. The defects render the request pro non scripto and it is therefore void or invalid", continued extracts from the response.

READ: Chaos at SONA again? Malema dares Ramaphosa to come clean about Bosasa - or else

"We have advised Mr Andile Ramaphosa that, as such, he would be entitled to simply ignore the request unless and until you submit a properly constructed request."

Maimane wants dealings between the president, his son Andile and Bosasa to be made public.

O'Sullivan said that he had advised that the R500 000 be placed in the attorneys account, being concerned that the funds may at some stage be identified as "proceeds of crime", or be tainted in some other way.

READ MORE:  Ramaphosa's son denies receiving R500 000 Bosasa payment

O'Sullivan has, however, made mention that Ramaphosa had no knowledge of who had contributed towards his ANC election campaign, and did not want to know, so that he would not feel any obligation at any later stage to such contributors.

The investigator said that the president had innocently provided factually incorrect information to Parliament, after Maimane's oral enquiry into his son's dealings with Bosasa.

"As soon as he realised he had done so, he urgently set the record straight, even though he was not in the country," O'Sullivan said.

"We are satisfied that neither Mr Andile Ramaphosa, his father, or the Campaign Manager of 'CR 17', have in any way acted unlawfully.

"To the contrary, upon discovering what has happened, they have taken proper and reasonable steps to extract themselves from any association that may create reputational risk" continued the response.

DA gearing up for litigation

O'Sullivan said that a copy of the response had been sent to the EFF, as the party has recently shown interest in the matter.

He said that the Public Protector and Parliamentary Ethics Committee had also been furnished with a copy.

Last week, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane announced that she would be investigating the donation the president's campaign received.

READ: Public Protector to investigate Ramaphosa-Bosasa donation

The DA is, however, gearing up to interdict the reply presented by O'Sullivan, placing emphasis on the terms and conditions of the Andile Ramaphosa-Bosasa agreement.

The party wants the agreement made public, saying the people of South Africa deserve to know, "in the spirit and purport of the promotion of access to information and transparency, the full unredacted terms and conditions of the agreement between Bosasa (now trading as African Global Operations) and Andile Ramaphosa’s Blue Crane Capital".

However O'Sullivan said that, while the agreement could be made public, the invoices would not be drawn in to it, saying that move could undermine Andile Ramaphosa's right to privacy concerning commercially sensitive information.

Maimane and the DA are having none of it, saying "commercial sensitivity" is a smokescreen manipulated by presidents and their sons to cover up "dirty deals".

Maimane called on Ramaphosa to "play open cards with the people of South Africa by disclosing the invoices over how much his son has been paid per month on retainer by Bosasa".

At the same time, EFF leader Julius Malema has threatened to disrupt Ramaphosa's State of the Nation's Address and turn it into a question-and-answer session for the president, if he does not come "clean" about his dealings with Bosasa.

The move could be aggravated now after the company’s former COO Angelo Agrizzi laid bare how the company had paid top government officials, some from the NPA, and journalists, among others, to solicit tenders from government.

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