DA asks public protector to investigate Ramaphosa’s Bosasa ‘lies’
DA leader Mmusi Maimane claims President Cyril Ramaphosa lied to parliament about the money received from Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson for his ANC presidential campaign, and has submitted a complaint to the public protector for the matter to be investigated.
Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations, has received billions of rands in government contracts and has been implicated in corruption.
Maimane and other DA members protested outside the the African Global Operations headquarters in Krugersdorp on Friday. At the event, Maimane said he did not accept that Ramaphosa was not aware of the R500,000 donation made by Bosasa into a trust account for his presidential campaign.
Ramaphosa had initially told the National Assembly that the only money received from the company by his son Andile was for services rendered in terms of a consultancy contract. Ramaphosa later corrected that reply in a letter sent last week to the speaker, Baleka Mbete.
The ANC has accepted that Ramaphosa made a sincere and honest mistake, but Maimane insists he lied to parliament.
"This is an extremely serious breach of conduct in terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act. It has very serious implications for his presidency and cannot be made to go away by a sheepish apology," Maimane said. "For this reason, I have referred the matter to the public protector for investigation. If it is then found that the president knowingly and wilfully misled parliament, he will have to face the consequences. Because this is the level of accountability our democracy deserves.”
Maimane said the way corruption works is that a company makes a donation to a politician and in return is rewarded with government contracts, which are usually awarded outside of the normal tender process, and often at inflated prices.
"A bribe is a bribe, whether it is paid to a local councillor, to Jacob Zuma or to Cyril Ramaphosa. If we were outraged when others did it, we should be equally outraged when the new president does it."
If we were outraged when others did it, we should be equally outraged when the new president does it.
Maimane noted that very few companies do bigger business with the state than Bosasa. It has government contracts worth more than R10bn with the departments of correctional services, home affairs, social development and with Airports Company SA. It has also been under investigation for large-scale fraud and corruption for more than a decade.
Maimane referred to reports of more than 400 criminal cases involving Bosasa having been referred to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU).
"These include the alleged payment of bribes to prison bosses in return for huge tenders — payments arranged by the very same Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson who gave the go ahead for Ramaphosa’s payment. Only the NPA will be able to answer why, since 2007, no prosecutions have followed the detailed and ongoing investigation of the SIU."
Maimane added that since 2013, Bosasa has installed high-end alarm systems, CCTV cameras and electric fencing, allegedly for free, for ANC leaders and business people.