African National Congress chief whip Jackson Mthembu. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Parliament - President Cyril Ramaphosa did not deliberately mislead Parliament when he provided the wrong information about a R500 000 donation received by scandal-hit Bosasa boss Gavin Watson, African National Congress (ANC) chief whip Jackson Mthembu said on Thursday.

Mthembu was briefing the media on the ANC caucus position on Ramaphosa's reply to a question in Parliament about R500 000 allegedly paid into his son's account. 

The president told the National Assembly that the money was paid by African Global Operations, formerly Bosasa, meant for consultancy services provided by his son Andile's company.

Ramaphosa backtracked, later writing to Parliament saying he had "inadvertently" provided a wrong answer, clarifying that the money was paid into a trust account by Watson and was a donation to his campaign to ascend to the ANC presidency and that he did not know this at the time of answering the question.

Mthembu said the ANC caucus accepted Ramaphosa's written correction to Parliament, and even "applauded his honesty and sincerity".

"The president did not intentionally and wilfully... mislead the House...and therefore did not deliberately mislead the National Assembly. His conduct will therefore not be categorised as unparliamentary...," said Mthembu.

He accused parties accusing Ramaphosa of lying to Parliament of grandstanding and being "motivated by cheap populism and politicking".

Opposition parties have called for Bosasa's relationship with the Ramaphosa family to be investigated.

African News Agency/ANA