DA committed to holding the President to account for Bosasa dealings, including possible money laundering
24 June 2019
Today’s headline in the Business Day, “DA denies raising laundering issue”, is misleading and seeks to distort the truth as it pertains to the Public Protector’s investigation into the President Ramaphosa’s relationship with Bosasa (now African Global Operations). At no stage has the DA distanced itself from this investigation or the contents thereof. Rather, we have been explicitly clear in our call for the matter to be finalised, and for Parliament to establish an Ad Hoc Committee to consider the report and its findings – as it did with the Nkandla report.
The facts as to the President’s alleged wrongdoings are straightforward and have not changed. It is my contention that on 6 November 2018, President Ramaphosa misled Parliament about a R500 000 "donation" his campaign received from Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson, and the clear conflict of interest that exists between him, his son, Andile Ramaphosa and Bosasa. This as his son subsequently secured lucrative contracts with Bosasa to the tune of at least R2 million.
While the focus of my complaint was on the President’s misleading of the House and his conflict of interest with Bosasa, the manner in which the “donation” was allegedly paid – not directly but through attorneys trust accounts – raised the suspicion of financial irregularities and possible money laundering.
In my initial complaint (attached here) to the Public Protector, Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane, on 23 November 2018, it was raised as follows:
“The nature of the payment, passing through several intermediaries, does not accord with a straightforward donation and raises the suspicion of money laundering. The alleged donor is further widely reported to have received billions of Rands in state tenders, often in irregular fashion.” (Emphasis added)
Therefore, from the very outset, the suspicion of money laundering was raised with the Public Protector.
In April 2019, when I met with Adv. Mkhwebane to ascertain as to why her investigation was taking much longer than expected, she confirmed that while she has initially hoped the investigation would be finalized by February 2019, it became apparent during the process of investigating the matter that the nature and extent of the relationship between the Ramaphosa’s and Bosasa ran much deeper than initially thought.
The Public Protector decided to significantly widen the ambit of the investigation to include other issues uncovered during the investigation - including possible financial irregularities – which she is legally entitled to do. This is public knowledge.
We eagerly await the release of the final report, and for this to be considered by Parliament. An Ad Hoc Committee must be established without delay, and I have already written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Thandi Modise, in this regard. This will leave no room for further speculation and allow the public and Parliament to hold President Ramaphosa to account for his actions.
Issued by Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 24 June 2019