DA leader Mmusi Maimane. File picture: Kim Ludbrook/EPA-EFE

Cape Town - DA leader Mmusi Maimane says a fund used to raise money for Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign to become the ANC president was administered by a law firm whose director Jeffrey Afriat appears to have links to the Gupta family.

The opposition leader says the alleged "slush fund" was also used to channel a controversial donation from Bosasa which Ramaphosa says he only became aware of after Maimane posed pointed questions about it in Parliament. The president had initially said that his son Andile was paid the money for consultancy work he did for the firm.

According to Maimane, "a trust account named “efg2” – administered by law firm Edelstein, Farber and Grobler (EFG) – was the account into which the R500 000 Bosasa “donation” was funnelled through". This follows his about-turn to my question in Parliament about this R500 000 payment – which Ramaphosa initially stated was a payment to his son, Andile, for consultancy work done for Bosasa.

The DA says that Afriat, a director at EFG, "served as one of three directors of Trillian Capital, a primary vehicle used by the Guptas to capture the state and loot billions of rands of public money.

"Afriat served as director during 2016 alongside Mr Eric Wood – at the apex of State Capture and theft of public money by the Guptas and the ANC. Afriat is also cited twice by name in Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report. Afriat resigned as Trillian director shortly before the Budlender Inquiry into Trillian was launched."

Maimane has called on President Ramaphosa to "immediately appoint a full-scale independent inquiry – headed by a retired judge to be selected by the Chief Justice – to fully investigate the Bosasa scandal, which now involves the President and his family", and says he will write to Ramaphosa to request the immediate establishment of such an inquiry.

"We cannot have double standards when it comes to bribery and corruption – particularly not when it involves the highest office of the country. The President’s links to Bosasa – including all payments made to him, to the ANC and to his son, whether directly or through shell companies, third parties or trust accounts – must be investigated in detail," Maimane said.

IOL