CR17 funds: Call for Ramaphosa to be disciplined
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DURBAN - CALLS have been made for President Cyril Ramaphosa to be disciplined after he allegedly took money from private funders for his presidential election campaign during the run-up to the ruling party’s 2017 elective conference in Nasrec, Johannesburg.
On Monday, during a press briefing in Booysens, Johannesburg, signatories of the ANC in eight provinces called for the ANC disciplinary committee to take action against the party’s number one member.
The Western Cape was the only province not to take part in the call.
Onica Maphisa, the co-ordinator of the signatories, said it was time that the ANC stopped applying “double standards” and that it should treat every ANC member fairly.
“President Ramaphosa used the ‘CR17 Campaign’ that he established to advance his personal presidential ambitions, as the fund-raising and fund distribution tool. None of this is any longer under dispute, it is common cause that this was done, as established in two court hearings,” Maphisa said.
She said the party’s problems resulted from infiltrators using money to control the ANC.
“The ANC is, as a consequence, faced with a serious legitimacy crisis with regard to the election of President Ramaphosa, and the current national executive committee (NEC) of the ANC.
“The use of money in order to influence conference outcomes is indeed a very serious matter, and as a consequence of the actions of President Ramaphosa and his ‘CR17 Campaign’, it has become more pronounced and insidious.
“We decided to file an application through the office of the secretary-general of the ANC, to the effect that disciplinary proceedings must be instituted against President Ramaphosa for having obtained and used private funding with the expressed intention to influence the outcomes of the ANC’s 54th national conference leadership elections.”
Maphisa said Ramaphosa was accused of deliberately flouting the ANC constitution by accepting private funds and using private business sources to get himself elected as ANC president, and had gone to extraordinary lengths to protect the identity of those who funded his campaign.
She also lashed out at the ANC NEC for failing to hold Ramaphosa accountable, saying that was because they had also benefited from the CR17 funds.
In their application to the secretary-general, the signatories quoted from the ANC constitution, providing reasons for their application for Ramaphosa to be disciplined.
“The president clearly involved himself in misconduct in contravention of Rule 25.17.3 by failing and neglecting to comply with rules of the ANC when he established the CR17 fund-raising team outside the structures of the ANC.”
The signatories said that should the party fail to intervene, they would have no choice but to take the matter to the ANC national conference either in December 2021 or December 2022.
Presidency spokesperson Tyrone Seale declined to comment and referred all ANC-related queries to ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe, who did not respond. Neither did ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte, when contacted for comment.
ANC KZN spokesperson Nhlanipho Ntombela said: “Who did not use money to influence the Nasrec conference? All candidates who were contesting did that. That’s why the ANC NEC, after Nasrec, took a decision to develop frameworks for future contesting of internal election processes.”
Political analyst Professor Sipho Seepe said there were three immediate issues that arose from the last ANC elective conference.
“First, the ANC presidency will continue to be mired in controversy until the issue of CR17 is addressed. The ANC’s constitution is clear when it comes to the use of money to influence the outcomes of elective conferences.
“Second, the selective implementation of conference resolutions will continue to undermine the message of unity and renewal.
“Third, such protests require proper co-ordination to force the NEC to look into this issue. Until the legitimacy of the current NEC is also called into question, it is unlikely that something would come out of these efforts.
“There are too many members of the NEC who are invested in the current organisational arrangement. They will do their damndest to frustrate any initiative that is geared towards challenging Ramaphosa's leadership.”
Seepe said a proper analysis of a balance of forces was required before the organisers’ proposal could gain any traction.
Political commentator and author Kim Heller said: “Ramaphosa has spoken lyrically and with much enthusiasm about his administration being anti-corruption and a bastion of transparent governance.
“Yet signs are that corruption has been supersized under his watch and the president himself is setting a poor example for transparency by sealing information around who funded his presidential campaign.
“ANC branches must hold him accountable; however as we have seen (in) his term as president, he has ignored the legitimate voices of branches. Rather, it appears as if the markets and other outside forces have become the supreme branch of the Ramaphosa ANC.”
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