Maimane's request to see Ramaphosa's business interests just an election ploy - Presidency

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President Cyril Ramaphosa (File, News24)
President Cyril Ramaphosa (File, News24)

The Presidency has called the DA's request for President Cyril Ramaphosa to disclose his business interests an election ploy.

In a statement on Tuesday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said that he had written to the secretary of Cabinet, Dr Cassius Lubisi, requesting to view the president’s declaration of interests since his appointment in February 2018.

Maimane's request follows news that Ramaphosa's son, Andile, was involved with Chinese businessman Jianbao Chen, the chairperson of Huarong Energy Africa, who attempted to secure a R400m kickback from Eskom.

READ: Andile Ramaphosa and the man who nearly scored a R400m Eskom kickback

Mamaine said that the business relationship between Ramaphosa Jr and Chen and the attempted R400m kickback from an Eskom loan in 2018 was the "latest chapter in the Ramaphosa family’s dodgy business dealings".

"It appears that Cyril Ramaphosa has been using his access to vital information to unduly benefit his son – which is a clear conflict of interest." 

According to Maimane, the president's disclosure of all his financial interests includes all shares and interests in corporate companies, sponsorships, gifts and donations, hospitality, pension, and foreign travel.

"We are of the view that this extends to the president’s family’s business dealings, where there appears to be a direct conflict of interest as it pertains to his son."

However, Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko hit back, saying it was clear that the DA was in election mode and was using anything that they could to discredit the president.

"This is despite the fact that there is no allegation of any illegal activity committed by the president or his son," Diko told News24.

"Nonetheless the secretary of Cabinet will, upon receipt of their request, process it in line with applicable prescripts."

ALSO READ: From China to Krugersdorp – Andile Ramaphosa and the Bosasa 'billions'

Maimane said that there was no reason to decline his request and that he made a similar request in 2017 to view former president Jacob Zuma’s declaration of interests and was granted full access.

"If the president has failed to disclose any conflict of interest as it relates to his son, then the Public Protector must investigate whether he has breached the Executive Ethics Act," Maimane said.

"From Bosasa to Eskom loan deals, Andile Ramaphosa is unduly benefitting due to the fact that his father happens to be the president."

"This is no different to former president Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, and his dodgy business dealings that were in part facilitated by his father’s political connections."

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