Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa has been told to explain the leaked emails that appear to suggest he misled Parliament about the fund-raising campaign for his ANC presidency.
The EFF on Sunday accused Ramaphosa of misleading the country while the DA called on him to go public and explain his claim that he did not know the identities of those who funded his 2017 ANC presidential campaign.
This comes after News24 published emails showing that Ramaphosa was getting consultation from his campaign managers regarding fund-raising for his bid to go up against Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma at the party’s conference.
EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu took to Twitter, saying the emails were proof that Ramaphosa had misled the country.
“This exposes the lies being told by ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa, and once again, Jamnandas (PG) confirms that his travel costs were paid by CR17 & this was never disclosed in Parliament. When we report this to the public protector and Parliament, we are defenders of state capture,” Shivambu said.
DA spokesperson Solly Malatsi said Ramaphosa had to now come out and explain himself. “The challenge now to the president is for him to come out and answer the question. “He must show leadership and take ownership of some of the errors that his campaign made,” Malatsi said.
Last month, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found Ramaphosa to have lied to Parliament in regard to the R500 000 donation from controversial Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson for his campaign. Ramaphosa told the National Assembly that the money was a result of a contract which his son, Andile, had with Bosasa when he was asked by DA leader Mmusi Maimane about the funds.
He subsequently wrote to Parliament indicating that the money was a donation from Watson for his presidential campaign but that he was not aware of the funds as he did not directly interact with or know about those who had funded his campaign.
In one the emails, Ramaphosa’s campaign manager Donne Nicol allegedly asked Ramaphosa to contact Macsteel founder Eric Samson and thank him as well as ask for a further R10 million.
Announcing his decision to take Mkhwebane’s report on urgent judicial review, Ramaphosa insisted that his campaign managers had taken a conscious decision where they said he must not be involved or know about the finer details of the fund-raising.
“Of course I knew that money was being sourced but I was never told about the intricate issues that they got involved in. I never got to know about all the other details that went into the funding of the campaign,” Ramaphosa said.
The emails also detailed the central role played by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan in raising the funds for Ramaphosa’s campaign. South Africans and political leaders took to social media to weigh-in on the possible implications which could be triggered by the revelations.
Political analyst Xolani Dube of the Xubera Institute warned that the leaks would arm Ramaphosa’s critics and opponents within the ruling party to say “we are all dirty”.
“Those who have been viewed as anti-patriotic are saying, Cyril, you are dirty just like us and so now you can’t go out and claim that you are immaculate, you are also dirty.”
Meanwhile, as the controversy around the president continued to rage, Twitter users had a field day, pointing out how some of the people who had helped to fund the campaign were later rewarded with positions in embattled state-owned companies such as Eskom.
The Presidency had not responded at the time of publication.