Presidency insists Cyril Ramaphosa has not committed a crime
Johannesburg - The Presidency has pushed back on reports that President Cyril Ramaphosa may not have been entirely truthful with details about donations made to his 2017 ANC presidential campaign.
Ramaphosa's spokesperson Khusela Diko said the president still maintained that he was not aware of the running of his campaign donations.
These denials follow a News24 exposé which revealed leaked emails that show individuals who had assisted Ramaphosa in raising funds for his campaign. Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has been revealed as a key fundraiser for the campaign.
The emails also show that Ramaphosa had been aware of some of the donations and fundraising. This is after he had previously denied that he had any hand in running the fundraising aspect of his campaign. Interest in the president's campaign financing followed after Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa had lied to Parliament when he said he was not aware of the R500 000 donation made by Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson to his campaign.
Diko said the president still maintains that he was not involved in the running of the campaign. She said it was disturbing how the emails were obtained and made public.
Diko said that the narrative around the emails was concerning especially because Ramaphosa had no legal obligation to reveal his funders.
"When the entire investigation started it centred around the donation that Mr Gavin Watson from Bosasa had made to the campaign. We said at the time that the president was not aware of that donation and we still stand by our position that the president was not made aware of that donation," Diko said on eNCA.
"We are perturbed by the narrative that is being built around these emails. There was no obligation on the part of the campaign and the president to release that information on the campaign."
Diko said Ramaphosa had not committed a crime and that all the individuals who had donated to the campaign did so with the knowledge that they would not be rewarded.
"At the core of it, the president has not committed any crime. None of those donations come from people who would have obtained the funds illegally. Part of their condition for donating to the campaign was that they should not expect any benefit that arises from there. The president was not privy to the day to day running of the campaign. Yes, there were times where guidance may have been sort from him, but he was not privy to all of that information. There is no wrongdoing," she insisted.