Cape Town - President Cyril Ramphosa's office on Wednesday again sought to put out fires following fresh allegations before the state capture inquiry involving funds transferred to him and his son Andile.
Former Bosasa auditor Peet Venter on Wednesday again insisted during his testimony before the inquiry, chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, that he was asked by Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson to help with the payment of R3 million from the latter's account into the account of a dormant company, Miotto Trading and Advisory Holdings. From there, R500 000 was transferred to an account called EFG2. This, Venter said he was told was the account belonging to the Andile Ramaphosa Foundation.
The presidency again denied this, saying the EFG2 account was used for donations to Ramaphosa's campaign ahead of the election of a new ruling party president in 2017. The payment, said Ramaphosa, was separate from around R2 million paid to Andile Ramaphosa for services he rendered through his Blue Crane Capital to African Global Operations (AGO), the new name Bosasa was trading under.
"In April 2017, Blue Crane Capital, a company owned by Mr Andile Ramaphosa, began discussions with African Global Operations (AGO) to explore possible business opportunities in certain East African countries. In December 2017, an advisory mandate was signed between Blue Crane Capital and AGO, and in January 2018 an Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy," the presidency statement said.
"The donation of R500 000 to the CR17 campaign by Mr Watson was distinct from, and unrelated to, the contract between Blue Crane and AGO."
The President reiterated he did not know about the donation to his campaign.
"The donation from Mr Watson was sought and obtained by the CR17 campaign without the President’s knowledge. This followed a decision by the campaign managers that the President should not be provided with the identity of donors or amounts pledged," the statement said.
"The President has subsequently been informed that, following revelations at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, the former CR17 campaign managers took a decision to return the donation. The funds amounting to R500 000, have been placed in an attorney’s trust account until allegations against Mr Watson and AGO have been clarified."
African News Agency (ANA)