ANC backs Cyril Ramaphosa, says leaked e-mails 'calculated manoeuvre'
The ANC has come out in support of its president Cyril Ramaphosa, dismissing leaked e-mails as “nothing but a calculated manoeuvre to defocus and detract from the immediate task of socio-economic issues and dealing with the challenges of our economy”.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, party spokesperson Pule Mabe said the ANC was not aware of any illegality in Ramaphosa’s 2017 campaign to become ANC president.
This comes after News24 revealed leaked e-mails from the CR17 campaign which showed that Ramaphosa was consulted by his campaign managers on names of some potential donors, despite the fact that he consistently denied that he was actively involved in the fundraising for his campaign.
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“The leaked e-mails are therefore nothing but a calculated manoeuvre to defocus and detract from the immediate task of socio-economic issues and dealing with the challenges of our economy. This is also an attempt to undermine public confidence in President Ramaphosa whose leadership has been defined by moral and ethical conduct,” Mabe said.
He said the ANC’s national executive committee last week reflected on funding for political campaigning and had resolved that the ANC’s top six leaders would look into finding better ways to manage it.
“The ANC welcomes actions taken by President Ramaphosa who has acted openly and transparently by providing a detailed account to the public protector on these matters,” Mabe said.
The e-mails that have circulated on social media for two weeks are said to have formed part of public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report into complaints by the DA and EFF over a response given by Ramaphosa to DA leader Mmusi Maimane in parliament in November 2018.
Mkhwebane found in her report that Ramaphosa deliberately misled parliament, violated the executive ethics code, acted inconsistently with the constitution and further found evidence of money laundering.
She dismissed Ramaphosa’s defence that he did not know the inner workings of the CR17 campaign and did not know that Bosasa boss Gavin Watson donated R500,000 to his campaign.
Mkhwebane later said in interviews that she had evidence that Ramaphosa knew the details of the CR17 fundraising efforts.
Ramaphosa has since approached the North Gauteng High Court to take Mkhwebane's report on judicial review.
His spokesperson, Khusela Diko, said the e-mails were "just smoke and mirrors" and did not point to illegality on Ramaphosa’s part.