It has emerged that the R500,000 payment President Cyril Ramaphosa’s son was originally thought to have received from facilities management company African Global Operations (formerly Bosasa) was actually used to fund Ramaphosa’s presidential campaign for the ANC.
Ten days ago, DA leader Mmusi Maimane dropped a bombshell in parliament during Ramaphosa’s Q&A session on the VBS saga.
Maimane told the president he had evidence of a questionable payment of R500,000 that was made to the president’s son Andile, an accusation the president then denied.
The president said he was aware of the business relationship Maimane was talking about but said it was legally instituted through a company Andile did business with.
“It was brought to my attention a long time ago and I proceeded to ask my son what this was all about. He runs a financial consultancy business and he consults for a number of companies and one of those companies is Bosasa, where he provides services of entrepreneurship, particularly on the procurement process, and he advises both local and international companies,” he explained.
News24 then reported that Andile Ramaphosa denied receiving the particular R500,000 payment flagged by the DA. He said he would welcome an investigation of the matter.
The president said he asked his son about the payments being obtained illegally, which he denied.
“He even showed me a contract that he signed with Bosasa and the contract also deals with issues of integrity. I have made sure that I get the information as much as I can and he is running an honest business.”
However, the president said if it turned out that his son lied about the payments being illegal he would hold him accountable.
“I will be the first to make sure he becomes accountable even if it means that I’m the one who will take him to the police station, that I will be able to do,” he said.
He said he would not stop short of seeing his son imprisoned, if necessary, which DA MPs nodded enthusiastically about.
The president said he had asked his children not to do business with state-owned enterprises.
“The filter I want you to know I apply as their father: if there is any corruption, I will be the first, if need be, to take them to jail.”
Ramaphosa has now issued a correction to his parliamentary reply – claiming he learnt that the money was made on behalf of Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson into a trust account which was used to fund his election campaign.
Ramaphosa said he was unaware of the donation when he responded to Maimane’s question. He had made the admission to the speaker of the National Assembly in a letter dated November 14, claiming he inadvertently provided incorrect information but had not intentionally misled the House.
“My reply to the question was based on the information that was at my disposal at the time, regarding a business relationship that my son’s company has with the company African Global Operations,” wrote Ramaphosa to the Speaker.
“I have been subsequently informed that the payment referred to … does not relate to that contract.
“I have been told that the payment to which the leader of the opposition referred was made on behalf of Mr Gavin Watson into a trust account that was used to raise funds for a campaign established to support my candidature for the Presidency of the African National Congress.”
(Edited by Charles Cilliers)