Getrude Makhafola
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
2 Mar 2022
2:59 pm

State capture: President Ramaphosa dodges the Bosasa bullet

Getrude Makhafola

The Zondo report made no findings against President Cyril Ramaphosa.

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the State Capture Commission in Braamfontein on 28 April 2021. Picture for illustration: citizen.co.za/Neil McCartney

The State Capture Commission of Inquiry report made no findings against President Cyril Ramaphosa in the R500,000 Bosasa paid in cash towards his 2017 ANC presidential campaign.

Ramaphosa took the stand at the Zondo-led commission last year to answer questions on the biggest corruption scandal in the country’s history.

He denied having any knowledge about Bosasa’s unfettered access to ANC leaders and top state officials while he was former president Jacob Zuma’s deputy. He also denied being kept abreast about the CR17 campaign cash, including one that came from Bosasa.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa explains why he’s had trouble returning the R500K to Gavin Watson

The president told the inquiry that the campaign managers took a decision not to involve him in the campaigning and fundraising matters. He had held meetings with the managers but those were merely to advise them on his goal ahead of the 2017 Nasrec elective conference.

The late Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson, was at some point approached by one of Ramaphosa’s campaign team members to donate. Ramaphosa told the commission that Watson indicated that he wanted to donate personally and not through Bosasa.

No blame was put at Ramaphosa’s door in the report, citing Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane‘s investigation into the donation.

“However, this is a matter which was the subject of the investigation by the Public Protector and thereafter the subject matter of court proceedings. It is also not a matter which was investigated by the Commission in any serious way because the Public Protector dealt with it. Accordingly, this Commission will not make any findings on it,” the report stated.

Ramaphosa had first denied the donation, but later confirmed it was for his campaign.

Former DA leader Mmusi Maimane initiated the investigation of Bosasa’s R500,000 donation, leading to a probe by Mkhwebane. Her report found that Ramaphosa misled Parliament and further provided details of CR17 campaign money transfers through several bank accounts that she said amounted to money laundering.

The president’s campaign bank accounts remain sealed following a protracted court challenge.

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