The South African Communist Party (SACP) has called for the disclosure of sources of all the funds that were donated and received by all candidates who were vying for ANC presidency at the Nasrec conference in 2017.
In a statement, the SACP said the “so-called” leaked emails containing contributors of the CR17 campaign were “a calculated manoeuvre to defocus and distract (our country) from the immediate task of (addressing) socio-economic issues and dealing with the challenges of our economy” and part of a wider politically-motivated agenda meant to undermine confidence is President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“The SACP resolutely rejects being drawn into a one-sided focus on the fundraising details of the leadership contest associated with the last conference of the ANC. It would be appropriate for ANC members and the public at large to receive a full disclosure of the sources of all the funds that were donated, received and used in the course of the contest, regardless of candidates involved.”
It also called on the regulation funding for internal leadership campaigns.
“The issue of party funding both for individuals and their parties must be comprehensively addressed by Parliament, taking the whole picture into account. All MPs are direct beneficiaries of the funds donated to their different parties to support their election as MPs, over and above their respective congress or conference donations.
“The SACP highlights these issues having been among the first to call for legislation to regulate party political funding, and congratulates President Ramaphosa for signing the Political Party Funding Bill into law this year,” it said.
The SACP further called on parliament to conduct an inquiry into Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office following all the court cases she recently lost.
Mkhwebane has found Ramaphosa guilty of “inadvertently misleading” parliament over his R500,000 campaign donation from Bosasa.
She also found that Ramaphosa and his campaign team may have become part of money-laundering activities, since the donation from controversial Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson had gone through a number of intermediary companies to reach them.
Part of the remedial action stipulated in the report was that Ramaphosa must reveal all his CR17 funders in parliament.
The president and the public protector are currently engaged in a dispute over the attempts of Ramaphosa’s lawyers to keep this financial information private, though the Sunday Independent, in any event, leaked most of it yesterday, with allegations that they’d been given the information directly by the public protector’s office.
Ramaphosa’s team wrote to the High Court in Pretoria last week to request that details linked to banks accounts intended for the CR17 campaign not be made public, arguing that they should only be made available to the court and the respondents.
This follows a News24 report in which emails appeared to show that Ramaphosa’s claim that he had no knowledge of who funded the CR17 campaign was at least partially untrue.
In a statement on Saturday, the presidency confirmed that confidential banking information about the contributors to and recipients from Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign had been leaked to the media.
Spokesperson Khusela Diko said the information, supposedly held only by the public protector, included bank statements of third parties, which had recorded private transactions and which were “strictly confidential”.
Ramaphosa on Monday obtained an urgent interim interdict on the implementation of the remedial action stipulated by Mkhwebane.
The SACP called for an investigation into Mkhwebane’s motives behind “the departure from the credible process of the rule of law, as the conduct bears all the hallmarks of abuse of office”.
“This concern emanates from the damning court findings against her, including a reasonable apprehension of bias on her part and the fact that she advanced falsehoods in the last Constitutional Court litigation process and misrepresented certain facts under oath.
“The SACP reiterates its call for parliament, as soon as it resumes its work, to conduct an inquiry into her fitness to hold office on the basis of all the damning court findings against her.”
(Additional reporting by Daniel Friedman)