The contents of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s affidavit to the commission of inquiry into state capture were made public on Friday, at the request of the president himself.
This affidavit, commission chair Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo explained to the media, offered the president’s full account of any dealings he had ever had with the Guptas, Bosasa, or related entities.
Ramaphosa said that Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson, as well as company director Sarom Mathenjwa, attended the wedding of his son Andile on August 4, 2018, in Uganda.
“Over 1,000 people attending this event, including between 150 and 200 guests who flew from South Africa for the occasion. I have no recollection of any interaction with them at that event,” he writes.
The president also said Watson and Mathenjwa attended an event hosted by him.
This was “one of the back-to-school parties organised by the Adopt-a-School Foundation and hosted by myself as a fundraising event as guests of Dahau Technology, a Chinese company that provides video surveillance products and services”.
“To my knowledge, no donation was ever made to the foundation,” which was a non-profit company by Bosasa, Ramaphosa said.
The president also declared having taken a tour of a call centre at Bosasa’s headquarters where volunteers were helping with an ANC campaign.
“I remember interacting there with ANC volunteers and party officials… [and] may well have also interacted with Bosasa employees that were present at the premises at the time. I had no knowledge at the time of the source of funding for this centre, as these matters were the purview of the elections team,” he writes.
Ramaphosa also declared in the affidavit that he may have interacted with former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi while he was the chairperson of the Molope Group from 1995, but has “no recognition of having done so”. Agrizzi was working for Grantham Catering, a subsidiary of the group at the time.
Ramaphosa also said he may have interacted with Bosasa directors or employers or attended the same events as Molope Group, which was in direct competition with Bosasa at the time. He has, however, “no personal recollections of any such interactions”.
Lastly, the president said he may have interacted with Watson and his siblings back when they were “actively involved in the United Democratic Front in their hometown of Port Elizabeth” decades ago but had no personal recollection of this.
At a media briefing, Zondo emphasised that he was only releasing the contents of the affidavit due to the president’s request.
“I do not want any impression to be created that this means that any time we get such an affidavit we would necessarily disclose them before the deponent gives evidence in the commission,” he said.
(Compiled by Daniel Friedman)