CR17 money: 'I did tell EFF leaders', says Tebogo Mokwele as resignation story changes

EFF MP Tebogo Mokwele laughs after an exchange with FF Plus MP Corné Mulder at Wednesday's meeting of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee. (All photos by Jan Gerber, News24)
EFF MP Tebogo Mokwele laughs after an exchange with FF Plus MP Corné Mulder at Wednesday's meeting of the Joint Constitutional Review Committee. (All photos by Jan Gerber, News24)

Former EFF MP Tebogo Mokwele has told a radio station she told her party leadership that she received money from accounts allegedly related to the CR17 ANC presidential campaign when the funds were first received.

News24 reported on Monday that Mokwele and Nkagisang Mokgosi, two EFF MPs, resigned from Parliament and the political party's central command team over money they received from ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa.

Fielding questions from journalist Stephen Grootes on SAFM on Tuesday morning, Mokwele said adamantly that "I did. I did tell my leadership", when she was asked if she declared receipt of the funds to her party leadership at the time the payments were first received.

READ: Two EFF MPs resign over CR17 campaign money

Grootes then said that begged the question: Why was she resigning now?

She responded that she "...resigned because of the code of conduct of my organisation, number one, I resigned because I don't want to drag my organisation into disrepute.

"I did it because I wanted to do it. It's not because somebody forced me to do it. I did it because I love the EFF," said Mokwele.

Mokwele's statement to Grootes contradicts the content of her own resignation statement. 

Mokwele said in her resignation statement that she realised she had had a duty to disclose her association with Ramaphosa to the leadership.

"I did not do so and it was completely wrong."

Mokwele said in the statement that her resignation followed "a deep and careful introspection about the impact of my association with the president of the ANC and the republic in which there was an exchange of money for my personal use; a total of R80 000 between 2017 and 2019".

Asked by Grootes how she received money from the president, Mokwele explained it happened by "not speaking to him personally", but by speaking to him through his office.

"By that time in 2017, he was still the deputy president.

"The first one (payment), it was around November 2017 and the second one, it was around 2019... around April," she said.

The first payment in 2017 was for a project related to the provision of sanitary towels to schools, especially in rural areas.

Also read: No response to CR17 bank statements leak after court orders evidence to be sealed. Here’s what you need to know

"It's not only Cyril Ramaphosa that contributed into that project. There are so many people, including the leadership of the EFF, individually, [who] contributed to that project."

She confirmed to Grootes that the second donation in April related to a "tragic bereavement" she had "during the process of elections this year, I did receive an amount of R40 000 in a form of condolences from the president as I lost my cousin and... husband were brutally murdered."

She said she informed the EFF leadership about the money after a series of bank statements attributed to the CR17 campaign leaked into the public domain this past weekend.   

"Non-disclosure of money, particularly from individuals in the enemy camp is dishonourable and disingenuous... I deeply regret my actions and accept that I cannot be entrusted with any leadership responsibilities," she previously said.

Attempts to reach the leadership of the EFF were unsuccessful at the time of writing. 

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