Johannesburg - President Cyril Ramaphosa says the R500 000 paid to his son by facilities management company African Global Operations (Bosasa) was a donation towards his ANC presidential campaign.
The president, in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, backtracked on the reply he gave in Parliament two weeks in which he said the money paid to his son Andile was for payment for his consultancy services that he provided African Global Operations, formerly known as Bosasa.
The question about the suspicious R500 000 payment was posed by DA leader Mmusi Maimane during a Q&A session in Parliament.
On Friday, The Presidency issued a statement clarifying that Ramaphosa has new information regarding the payment which was made on behalf of former Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson.
He said he has now been informed that the funds were paid to a trust account on behalf of Waston as a donation for his campaign to become the president of the ANC.
“I have been subsequently informed that the payment referred to in the supplementary question by the Leader of Opposition does not relate to that contract.
“I have been told that the payment to which the Leader of the Opposition referred was made on behalf of Mr Gavin Watson into a trust account that was used to raise funds for a campaign established to support my candidature for the Presidency of the African National Congress,” said Ramaphosa.
The president said he had no knowledge of the donation at the time that it was made.
“The donation was made without my knowledge. I was not aware of the existence of the donation at the time that I answered the question in the National Assembly. I thought it best to furnish this information to clear any confusion,” he said.
Ramaphosa also confirmed that his son does do business with African Global Operations, but that the business relationship is only focused on operations outside of South Africa.
“The President has confirmed to the Speaker that Mr Andile Ramaphosa’s company has a contract with African Global Operations for the provision of consultancy services to the latter in a number of African countries other than South Africa. South Africa is specifically excluded to avoid a potential conflict of interest,” said the Presidency.
Meanwhile, Maimane has demanded a full investigation into the Ramaphosa family's "relationship" with Bosasa.
"The fact is that this requires a full investigation into the Ramaphosa family’s relationship with Bosasa. This investigation should cover all payments made to any member of the Ramaphosa family from Bosasa and African Global Operations and should cover the business relationship between Bosasa and the President’s son. The President should come clean and disclose all payments received by him, his family, and his campaign by Bosasa," said Maimane in a statement on Friday.