Bosasa, known as Global Africa, the company at the centre of a storm over alleged payment of half a million rand to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s son and for allegedly funding the President’s ANC campaign, has denied ever bribing anyone.
Global Africa’s executive director, Papa Leshabane, responding for the first time today, denied that the company paid Andile Ramaphosa any money. He said the accusation was nothing but a ploy by the Democratic Alliance to implicate the company in corruption it knew nothing about.
“The money was paid by individual who worked here. It was not Global Africa. This visit here is not about the R500 000 but about a ploy to include us in this matter,” Leshabane said.
But Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane insisted that he would approach the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to investigate possible breach of the Executive Ethics Code by Ramaphosa for allegedly lying in parliament over his payment to his son by Bosasa.
Maimane, who led a group of DA members in a demonstration today outside the Bosasa head office in Krugersdorp on the West Rand, insisted that Ramaphosa lied when he said that there was a contract between Bosasa and his son, Andile Ramaphosa.
“There was no such a contract, it was a bribe by Bosasa because they want more contracts from Ramaphosa. He lied when he said that he did not know that his son was paid an amount of R500 000 by Bosasa,” Maimane said.
According to Maimane, Andile Ramaphosa had 34 companies but only one was publicly known.
“We are reporting Ramaphosa for violating the Executive Ethics Code to say he did not know about the R500 000 his son was paid. That R500 000 was a bribe so that he (Ramaphosa) could pay Bosasa back with more tenders,” he said.
The DA leader said if Ramaphosa was serious about fighting corruption, he must investigate himself and his family. It was not enough for him and the ANC to say the President would pay back the money that was paid for his ANC presidential campaign, but he must account for it.
Maimane, who was accompanied by the party’s spokesperson on corruption, Phumzile van Damme, and spokesperson on state capture, Natasha Mazonne, said he wanted Mkhwebane to investigate because Ramaphosa had violated the Executive Ethics Code.
He had also asked Ramaphosa himself to appoint a commission of inquiry into the whole Bosasa affair including the company’s alleged bribery of top ANC politicians.
But Global Africa defended itself against the accusations. The company’s top management stood and watched and often laughed outside the company’s offices as the DA politicians took turns to criticise the firm’s alleged corruption.
Global’s Leshabane said the company is a black economic empowerment company that was involved in a lot of corporate social responsibility initiatives. “We employ 4 500 people, some of whom may be DA members, but we employ according to skill not political affiliation,” Leshabane said, responding to a claim by Maimane that the firm hired children or relatives of ANC politicians.
“Why are they concerned about R500 000 when there are many companies that paid multiple millions in bribes. Are they targeting us because we are black? We are being targeted here by a political party to achieve its political ends,’ he said.
Leshabane said out of 417 tenders they bidded for since 2006, Bosasa was awarded only nine contracts. “We have been doing business for government for 13 years but there has never been any complaint.”
Maimane said Ramaphosa’s “new dawn” was nothing new, but the same corruption disguised as change. He likened the New Dawn to a child who smeared his face with Vaseline in order to cheat his mother to believe that he had washed when in fact he was dirty.
“There is no new dawn, but there is a new Vaseline. It is new Vaseline covering the old dirt of Jacob Zuma,” Maimane said.