Had it not been that his father is the president, it is highly unlikely many people outside his immediate circle of friends would have known who Andile Ramaphosa was.
But ever since Cyril Rampahosa took the reins as the country’s first citizen, his son has been in the headlines, albeit for the wrong reasons - wrong enough to prompt the president to vow that, should his son be found wanting, “I will be the first, absolutely first, to make sure that he becomes accountable, even if it means I am the one who takes him to the police station”.
Ramaphosa made this promise to Parliament over the R500 000 that was deposited into his son’s account by the prisons facilities company Bosasa, now trading as African Global Operations.
Both father and son have since performed somersaults regarding complicity in the money that was made as a donation towards the CR17 campaign to take over at Luthuli House after Nasrec.
As fate would have it, it turned out the half a million rand was just the tip of the iceberg in a larger ocean of financial skulduggery.
On March 28, IOL had this report: “Pressure is mounting on President Cyril Ramaphosa to act on revelations that his son Andile received R2 million from business links with Bosasa.”
Before the Ramaphosas there was former president Jacob Zuma, “uBaba kaDuduzane” (Duduzane’s father), who made bloodline business a factor of our daily discourse. The two became the poster duo for what political analyst Dumisani Hlophe calls a case of being born “into a network”.
The young Zuma made oodles of money from his father’s connections to the Guptas, not from any remarkable business acumen. As unscientific as it may sound, Duduzane does not strike one as an A-student who could have shown precocious talent.
While Duduzane was clearly the blue-eyed boy of the Gupta brothers, he was not the only “son of the fathers” who was favoured by Saxonwold.
Tshepiso Gift Magashule, son of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule, was in the pockets of the Guptas - all he had to do was give the Free State government and deals to the Indian family on a silver platter in exchange for gifts, like overseas trips and cash.
Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, who resigned after admitting at the state capture commission that he visited the Guptas’ Saxonwold mansion eight times, not four, pushed his son Siyabonga to the front of the queue at the trough before he left office in disgrace.
It has emerged that the young Nene secured funding for a Mozambican deal from the Public Investment Corporation during the time Nene senior was chairman of the corporation.
Political analyst, Ebrahim Fakir, said: “It would be naive to think that those proximate to power would not be preferential beneficiaries of (sometimes unearned) business and largesse in the form of business, work or even gifts.”