NEWS & ANALYSIS

I donated to CR17

Graham McIntosh explains why he did it

Because there seems to be a campaign to mire the CR17 fund raising effort in a bog of sinister scandal, I want to declare my small gift.  On Saturday 28 October 2017 I attended a breakfast at the Taj Hotel opposite St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town. I had been invited to meet Cyril Ramaphosa at the event by my friend, from our days as colleagues in COPE, Phillip Dexter. 

I was keen to attend.   Among the many guests were some of my former Parliamentary colleagues from the ANC, including Trevor Manuel and Ebrahim Rasool.  I gladly paid the fairly substantial cost of the breakfast knowing full well that it was a donation towards Cyril’s campaign to be elected President of the ANC.  There were three reasons I did so.

Part of the DNA of any functioning democracy is fundraising for political campaigns and parties, such as, for example, CR17.  All my political life, starting with my Liberal Party membership in 1964, I have given and solicited donations, large and small for political causes.  When I was farming in the Estcourt District of KZN, I happily gave donations to both the ANC and the IFP because I wanted to support our democratic processes.

The party that I personally preferred, got a much bigger donation.  The CR17 fundraising was transparent and it had a completely legitimate purpose.  Donors may have their own agenda but that doesn’t make a campaign such as CR17 illegitimate. Now it seems there is an ongoing determination to drag CR17 through the mud and to do serious reputational damage to Cyril Ramaphosa.  Unsurprisingly, our favourite political amoeba and racist, Julius Malema, has joined the bandwagon seeking to stir up mud around the CR17.

The second reason that I gave the donation was because, although I have a deep distaste in general for the performance and policies of the ANC, I thought that Cyril Ramaphosa was a candidate with much better values and qualities than Dr Nkosazana (“Mother of Abortions”) Dlamini Zuma (NDZ). 

Furthermore, it was clear that she had the backing of her ex-husband’s supporters, who would abuse and steal State Resources, as they already had, to secure her election by means fair and foul.  With their KGB and STASI training they would make PW Botha’s Stratcom look like child’s play, and the attacks on CR17 are typical of such a sinister strategy.

Furthermore Cyril Ramaphosa had never been in exile.  So many of the ANC people whom I have come across and who have been in exile, have a skewed and politically depraved view of South Africa.  For many, including NDZ, their exile was shaped by the ideology of the late Dr Jack Simons who, when he lectured to me at UCT in 1961, made it clear that there was no chapter on ethics in the Communist Manifesto. 

I was confident that Cyril Ramaphosa’s fallback position on ethics would be found in the Ten Commandments whose values have, for millennia, undergirded well run societies.  The ANC and South Africa would be much better served by Cyril, than by NDZ, was my conviction.

The third reason I wanted to give a donation was purely personal, not political.  I had come to know Cyril when he has young man at school and university and he clearly had fine qualities of leadership. Although, since then, I have only ever warmly greeted him passing each other at airports, I wanted to show my personal and private goodwill towards him, by supporting the CR17 campaign.

Graham McIntosh became a Member of Parliament in 1974 and retired in 2014