FILE PHOTO: Cyril Ramaphosa speaks after taking the oath of office at his inauguration as South African president at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria

Johannesburg - The ANC on Tuesday defended President Cyril Ramaphosa saying that there was nothing illegal in his campaign.

The leaked e-mails, published by News24 at the weekend, suggest that the president was privy to details around fund-raising for his campaign.

However on Tuesday, the ruling party spokesperson Pule Mabe said: “The leaked e-mails are nothing but a calculated manoeuvre to defocus and detract from the immediate task of socio-economic issues and dealing with the challenges of our economy.”

On Tuesday Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu, who backed Ramaphosa’s campaign leading to the 54th national conference of the ANC in 2017, tweeted: “ANC members who were in the leadership of the CR17 campaign in the run-up to the @MYANC 2017 Nasrec conference, will tomorrow brief the media about the political campaign including its funding.”

Two hours after his post he indicated the press briefing was cancelled.

Xolani Dube, a political analyst with the Xubera Institute for Research and Development, said, “it shows the desperation of those who were backing Ramaphosa because it seems as if they are losing the moral ground.”

Political Bureau