‘The EFF put me in a very embarrassing position’ – Ramaphosa

22 August 2019. President Cyril Ramaphosa during a question and answer session in parliament | Image: Twitter/ @khuselas

Ramaphosa explained the nature of the payments he made to the EFF MPs, who he had come to consider as his colleagues.

Speaking during Thursday’s question and answer session in parliament, President Cyril Ramaphosa finally addressed one of the many outcomes of the revelations made in leaked bank statement related to funding for his #CR17 campaign for the presidency of the African National Congress (ANC).

A number of names of politicians, businesspeople, journalists and other professionals were identified on the list as having received money from the account linked to the campaign, who have since had to do damage control and reputation management as a result of the revelations.

Said “donations” and deposits were attributed to various reasons in each of their explanations.

Two of the people identified in the leaks are members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and parliamentary representatives for the party Tebogo Mokwele and Nkasigang Mokgosi. The pair resigned on Monday following an uproar in the wake of the release of the statements.

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“This follows a deep and careful introspection about the impact of my association with the president and the republic in which there was an exchange of money for my personal use; a total of R80,000 between 2017 and 2019. I have decided to save the organisation the painful time to subject me to a disciplinary process. My actions have already caused the image and reputation of the EFF into disrepute [sic]. I cannot that any more of the EFF public relations must be wasted discussing my actions, as opposed to being dedicated to our revolutionary programme,” said Mokwele in her statement before promising to enter into a self-imposed five-year exile from the party.

Mokgosi’s resignation letter also took a similar tone.

“My decision is based on the fact that I did not disclose the nature of my relationship with the ANC president, Cyril Ramaphosa, which involved an exchange of money. Non-disclosure of money, particularly from individuals in the enemy camp, is dishonourable and disingenuous. In this case, I am aware that it has compromised the integrity of our organisation and the revolution,” wrote Mokgosi,

“I deeply regret my actions and accept that I cannot be entrusted with any leadership responsibilities. It is therefore in this context that I resign from the central command team and as a member of parliament,” she said.

In reference to this, Ramaphosa said that the party had embarrassed him and he expressed regret at the loss of the pair, who he said he had come to consider colleagues.

“The EFF put me in a very embarrassing position because in the end those members have now been shifted aside. Now these two colleagues, and I see them as colleagues… by the way when they served in the NCOP, and they were my most vociferous opponents, and critics in the NCOP… and when, as members of parliament right across the board, when we discuss, there is the question of humanity… where there is humanity where we interact with each other beyond party lines. Where we see ourselves as human beings,” began Ramaphosa.

“When these two members had great difficulties, which they articulated, we felt that help was needed and we gave them help. The help was not connected to anything, as I have done with [a] number of other members as well. So it was out of a deep generosity, not on your side admittedly. So that’s what it is,” he added.

Watch his full answer below:

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