CR17 campaign funding: 'President has been hijacked by criminal elements'
The claims by Magda Wierzycka, the boss of Sygnia Group, that she and others contributed to the CR17 campaign in order to stop corruption, reduce poverty and save South Africa from Jacob Zuma and the Guptas, have been labelled as concerning.
This follows an expose by the Sunday Independent which revealed who donated to the CR17 campaign in 2017 when the now sitting president of the country and ANC Cyril Ramaphosa was facing a fierce challenge from Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Among those who allegedly donated are Andre Crawford-Brunt, a board member of Sygnia Group. Wierzycka is the company's co-founder.
Among those who rebutted the claims was Edward Zuma, the son of former president Jacob Zuma, who said there was no way people donate their money without expecting anything in return.
Zuma added that Wierzycka's statement confirms what the former president said at the state capture commission that there was always a plot to get rid of him which started in the late 80s and continues to the present moment, even though his father is no longer in power.
He then said Ramaphosa must come out and distance himself from such donors because it creates the impression that in order to lead the ANC you must have a lot of money.
“These donors are not even ashamed to come out and say they donated money. They are basically saying they can buy branches and this is concerning. The silence of the sitting president is very loud,” Zuma said.
He added that the plot to oust his father was joined by several forces and business people who were even willing to splash money in order to achieve their aims.
The leader of Black First Land First (BLF), Andile Mngxitama, said it was criminal act to try to remove a sitting president by bribing him to leave power, labelling Wierzycka's claims as a continued effort to oust Zuma by all means necessary.
“The president of the country has been hijacked by criminal elements. As BLF we are surprised that the ANC, the EFF and the DA have not called for the removal of Ramaphosa despite this overwhelming evidence.”
He said as a result of that, when Wierzycka offered Zuma money in 2017 in order to step down, they opened a criminal case against the businesswoman.
The uMkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA), through its spokesperson, Carl Niehaus, said it would not like to directly respond to Wierzycka but instead deal with the revelations about the money that was floating around.
Niehaus said the ANC should be worried that those with money can easily influence its electoral processes.
“We are concerned that our democracy can be for sale… the highest bidder can buy votes. We cannot have an organisation that can be bought by the highest bidder. That makes a mockery of our democracy if we allow that to happen. The leadership of the ANC will have to take necessary actions to deal with the situation,” Niehaus said
He added that a revolutionary movement like the ANC should never be a subject to some form of control by capital as that would render branches powerless in elective conferences.
All this was in response to Wierzycka who on Sunday took to Twitter and said: “Everyone who contributed did so to stop corruption, reduce poverty and save South Africa from Zuma, the Guptas, etc. No one expected anything in return other than a well-run country (excl Bosasa).”