In a statement on Friday, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said a televised interview given by Bosasa executive director Papa Leshabane confirming that the company did pay for security upgrades for Gwede Mantashe and that Mantashe “has called him for assistance”, cast further doubts on the minister’s claims from 30 September denying the security upgrades.
“Minister Mantashe categorically denied having any knowledge of who paid for the security upgrades at his house. He also, unequivocally, stated that the ANC had paid for these upgrades. This has been contradicted by Bosasa’s Leshabane,” said Steenhuisen.
“If it is true that Mantashe lied, and is linked to this scandal, then it proves that the Bosasa scandal is implicating not only President Ramaphosa but many other members of the ANC leadership. This could mean that the ANC has, for years, been using Bosasa for ‘favours’ and ‘assistance’ in exchange for government contracts valued in the billions. This would constitute nothing more than yet another corrupt arrangement that exists within the ANC and its government.”
African Global Operations, formally known as Bosasa, spoke out on Friday morning to explain their link to the Ramaphosa family.
Leshabane said the donation to Ramaphosa’s campaign was not on behalf of the company but rather a personal donation from CEO Gavin Watson. Ramaphosa recently backtracked on a parliamentary explanation about the R500,000 the company was alleged to have paid his son Andile.
Leshabane mentioned that there were more than 200 companies who donated to the ANC and he found it strange that it was his organisation in particular that was being hounded.
The director confirmed they had installed security in prominent ANC leaders Thabang Makwetla and Gwede Mantashe’s homes.
Ramaphosa’s son Andile has been contracted to the company since February 2017 as a “business facilitator”. The president’s son apparently goes to the African market and recruits contacts for the company.
“Now trading under the name African Global, the company has government contracts worth billions and has previously been reported to have paid for security upgrades and other benefits to other ANC ministers such as Minister of Environmental Affairs Nomvula Mokonyane; Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Thabang Makwetla; ANC MP Vincent Smith; and former SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni,” said Steenhuisen.
“Indeed, there is a term for companies that benefit from government contracts lavishing money and ‘benefits’ on politicians: corruption,” he added.
He said this was why he had lain criminal charges against Mantashe, Mokonyane, Smith and the others on 14 September in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Act 12 of 2004).
“And this is precisely why DA leader Mmusi Maimane today referred the matter to the Office of the Public Protector.”
He said the culture of corruption allegedly ran deep in the ANC’s structures and governments.
“It matters not who leads the party, the cancer that is corruption and maladministration is destroying government institutions.
“The president is now embroiled in this matter along with other ANC executives and ministers. The DA is absolutely resolute in fighting corruption. We will not let this matter rest until each and everyone is brought to book.”
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)