Maimane on CR17 bank statements

Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)

Mmusi Maimane. Picture: Phando Jikelo African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 16, 2021


ONE South Africa Movement leader Mmusi Maimane has called on the Electoral Commission of SA (IEC) to ensure there was a credible and transparent register which would disclose the issue of party political fund donations.

Maimane was speaking to TV news channel Newzroom Afrika, who were interviewing the former DA leader as the EFF took the matter of the CR17 bank statements to court in a bid to unseal them.

Maimane said it was important for members of the public to know if companies that donated to political parties or campaigns, were then being enriched through state contracts.

He said it was important for the state to become professionalised so that officials were able to “inoculate” themselves against corruption and capture.

Reflecting on the matter of the Bosasa payments to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s son, Maimane said it was important for the public to ascertain if there had been any benefit that had been derived from the private company for the Ramaphosas.

“The allegations have to be tested. One faction of the ANC won the elective conference and they were rewarded. One faction was with the Guptas, the other was with Bosasa and the Bosasa faction one.

“How is it that when these matters are raised, no investigation follows. We need to get to the bottom of this private funding which allows these people to stay in power,” said Maimane.

The One SA leader said the principle was the same whether it was the NDZ or CR17 campaign. “For me it’s about this party political system. The view is that money is being exchanged. These are the people who end up capturing the state, whether it was NDZ or CR17, all of them must be investigated.

“The Zondo Commission Into state capture should be an ANC inquiry because I only see ANC people there defrauding the public, deriving benefit from the state, Bosasa benefited, the Guptas benefited,” he said.

Maimane said it was clear that political parties were being captured by business interests who then received favours from the state.

Earlier, lawyers representing the EFF blasted Ramaphosa and his campaigners over their stance that donations made to the CR17 ANC presidential campaign were private. The party lodged the attack after CR17 campaign manager Benjamin Chauke submitted an affidavit before the North Gauteng High Court sitting in Pretoria in which he stated that the donations were a private matter.

But the EFF disagrees. In its application in court to have the financial records of those involved in the campaign unsealed, advocate Ishmael Semenya SC, for the EFF, argued that Ramaphosa was the leader of the governing party. He said the EFF as a registered political party had the rights in terms of section 19 (1) ( c) of the Constitution to ask that the documents be opened for the public to access them.

“One of the reasons is that an amount of R500 000 was made to the CR17 by one such Gavin Watson. We all know what notoriety the name has. It is related to Bosasa. This triggered former DA leader Mmusi Maimane to ask a question to Ramaphosa about this donation,” Semenya said. He said the EFF wants the identity of the donors revealed and to find out if any of them had benefited from government contracts.

Semenya further highlighted that the application for the sealing of the documents was not made in open court. “The continued sealing of the documents − which, as an aide, we note are already in the public domain − is inimical to the constitutional principles of transparency and accountability,” he said.

He emphasised that holding politicians, especially those in government, accountable for who they get money from, and who they pay that money to, was crucial in ensuring that politicians and the wider political establishment remain transparent, open and accountable.