In an earlier version of this story, it was reported that Donne Nicol was denying involvement in her forming part of Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidential campaign team.
The foundation has since requested that the article be amended as Nicol was not directly contacted. The foundation’s executive for strategy and partnerships, Mmabatho Maboya, was contacted telephonically and asked who is involved in the team and she said she couldn’t answer that.
As a result, Tyrone Seale, formerly a chief director at GCIS and now acting spokesperson for the deputy president, was contacted to clarify the issue. Seale requested that an emailed request be send to his gmail account.
He asked for this courtesy as he doesn’t yet have an official Presidency email account due to his stop-gap role at the Presidency and was not going to be in the office for the next “36 hours”. The Citizen awaits his response.
Maboya, qouted below, wrote: “Furthermore, I would like to reiterate that Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation is not involved in any political activities, and that any CRF trustees or employees that participate in political work do so in a private capacity.
The Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation has denied political involvement as insinuated by weekend media reports. The report stated that its CEO, Donne Nicol is one of the “bossy” supposedly all-white campaign management team members.
According to a highly disputed report in the Sunday Times, some ANC leaders are unhappy that the presidential hopeful has delegated too much power to “an-all white team”, which is supposedly limiting their efforts to canvass support. Some of Ramaphosa’s aides, believed to be in charge of finance and fundraising, were labelled “gatekeepers”.
Roelf Meyer, Ramaphosa’s fellow negotiator during the Convention for Democratic South Africa (Codesa) talks, also denied allegations he is actively involved in the campaign, aptly called #CR17 on social media.
It was also reported that the administrative arm of the campaign is managed by Nicol, as well as Marion Sparg.
Sparg previously worked in Ramaphosa’s office when he was secretary-general of the ANC. She later occupied the position of CEO of the now disbanded Scorpions.
It was alleged that the balance of the campaign team was made up of special adviser Steyn Speed and businessman Crispial Olver. Speed was previously a communications manager based at Luthuli House while Olver spent some time as a director-general in the public service.
The foundation’s executive for strategy and partnerships, Mmabatho Maboya, emphasised that the foundation wishes to clarify that its mandate was confined to social and economic development programmes.
“The Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation (CRF) is an independent non-profit organisation that is aimed at improving lives and creating opportunities through programmes in education, enterprise development, and social cohesion and nation-building.
“It has no political mandate and is not engaged in any political activities. Any CRF trustees or employees that participate in political work do so in a private capacity,” Maboya said.
It was formerly known as the Shanduka Foundation and was established in 2004 by the Shanduka Group and its founder Ramaphosa. It changed its name in 2015 to the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation.
It supports social entrepreneurial initiatives such as the “Adopt-a-School Foundation”, the Kagiso Shanduka Trust, Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust and Shanduka Black Umbrellas.