News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
27 Mar 2019
3:29 pm

R500k payment to Andile Ramaphosa can be seen as money laundering – Venter

Makhosandile Zulu

The former auditor says Gavin Watson did not want to pay the amount directly from his personal account.

Andile Ramaphosa. Picture: Twitter/@RamaphosaAndile

The former auditor of Bosasa, Peet Venter, told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Wednesday that the payment made by the CEO Gavin Watson to Cyril Ramaphosa’s son, Andile, can be regarded as money laundering.

Venter testified on Tuesday that he found the R500,000 payment to Andile Ramaphosa “strange”.

Watson instructed Venter to effect the R500,000 payment to “efg2”, which used an ABSA bank account, Venter said, explaining that he was “merely told it was for a foundation/trust of Andile Ramaphosa”. Ramaphosa senior was deputy to then president Jacob Zuma at the time.

The payment was made on October 19, 2017.

Venter told the commission on Tuesday that the payment was made from Miotto Trading and Advisory, a dormant company owned by Venter’s relative that the former auditor used.

This, Venter agreed on Wednesday, was used to disguise the payment and that the transaction could be regarded as money laundering.

The evidence leader at the commission on Wednesday, advocate Refiloe Molefe, said experts had said that this practice – the transfer of money from Watson’s personal account to Miotto then to “efg2” “is not proper accounting practice and that those transactions should be fully recorded with details such as the true purpose of the transaction”, in particular in the books of Miotto.

On Tuesday, Venter told the commission that in its books, Miotto referenced the payment as “coming in, payment going out because there was no real purpose for that payment, no services were rendered” for it, with no further details given.

There are no records of the said transaction which was referenced as “social development”, the commission heard on Wednesday.

“The only record of that transaction of R500,000 having being paid by Miotto to what you were told was Mr Andile Ramaphosa’s foundation is the reference of social development?” Molefe questioned the witness, who responded by saying that it was correct.

Molefe questioned Venter if he would accept that Miotto had been used as a vehicle to disguise the true nature of the transaction.

“I think that was the reason,” Venter responded.

“So, in other words, it would be a money laundering transaction?” Molefe questioned.

“Otherwise Mr Watson would have paid it directly. He didn’t want to pay it out of his own account,” Venter responded.

Venter concluded his testimony on Wednesday and Bosasa former COO Angelo Agrizzi is expected to take the stand on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Andile Ramaphosa has admitted to how much Bosasa paid him.

A News24 investigation has reportedly established that Andile has finally admitted to the monthly amounts he received from controversial facilities management company Bosasa.

He claimed his advisory work for the company, now known as African Global Operations, saw him receiving about R2 million in total from Gavin Watson’s business after they put him on a monthly retainer. This reportedly related primarily to advisory work on projects in Africa that Andile at one point claimed were worth billions, but then later said he did not know the actual value of.

The publication further reported that Andile gave a response to a text message sent by an employee at Bosasa to Agrizzi in which it is stated that the president’s son would use his influence “to secure projects”.

“I have never offered to use my ‘influence’ to assist AGO [African Global Operations] nor have I ever been in a position to do so,” Andile Ramaphosa was quoted as saying in a statement.

ALSO READ: Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson instructed others to act illegally – Venter

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