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Andile Lungisa guns for Ramaphosa over CR17 campaign funds

Lungisa's letter comes after BLF leader Andile Mngxitama opened a criminal case against the president

26 August 2020 - 10:58 By aphiwe deklerk
Andile Lungisa wants the ANC's top brass to deal with the issue of fundraising for President Cyril Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign in 2017.
Andile Lungisa wants the ANC's top brass to deal with the issue of fundraising for President Cyril Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign in 2017.
Image: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Felix Dlangamandla

Nelson Mandela Bay councillor Andile Lungisa has written to ANC top brass asking the party to deal with the matter of President Cyril Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign funds.

Lungisa, who is facing jail over assault charges, recently resigned from his post as a mayoral committee member for infrastructure and engineering on the insistence of the ANC, because of his legal woes.

His letter comes just days before the ANC national executive committee is expected to have a heated discussion on what to do with party members facing criminal charges or allegations of wrongdoing.

But Lungisa, who was a vocal backer of former president Jacob Zuma and Ramaphosa's ANC presidential opponent in 2017, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said his letter was “not based on expediency”.

He wants the letter forwarded to the ANC integrity commission so that it can deal with Ramaphosa's admission that his team did fundraising to finance his bid for the presidency.

“I am wondering what would have been the attitude if it were my campaigners who fundraised close to [R1bn], but it seems we are expected to be quiet because it’s president Ramaphosa’s campaigners.

“There is an affidavit to the public protector wherein Cde president Cyril Ramaphosa, in his own words, admitted to the fact that bank accounts were opened for the purposes of fundraising for his campaign to be ANC president,” said Lungisa.

“In the history of the ANC this has never happened. It is foreign culture in the movement where money is raised by business people in support of a candidate to emerge using their financial influence,” he said.

“In his political report in the 2007 Polokwane conference, Cde president Thabo Mbeki spoke harshly against such behaviour in the movement. This action is in direct contravention of rule 25 of the ANC constitution and the integrity committee must pronounce on this if we are to continue being the legitimate leader of society.”

He said at the time, as deputy president, Ramaphosa was not an ordinary member and had known that money was being raised in his name.

Lungisa said Ramaphosa's actions were against the culture, tradition, and internal organisational processes of the ANC and meant that delegates at the party's Nasrec conference were “bought”. He said leaked e-mails of the CR17 campaign funds revealed the current regime is wholly “bought and owned” by what he called a “Trojan horse of the white neo settler usurper owning class”, which he said was hostile to the liberation movement and the African people it represents.

“Those among us who are committed to the dismantling of the neocolonial racist power structures that permeate our society can ill afford any complacency in the face of such a threat. Leading figures of this regime have made no secret about their intentions of weakening and fragmenting the ANC, as they have correctly concluded that a strong and unified ANC is a threat to their continued dominance of our economic [and] cultural life,” said Lungisa.

Lungisa recently stepped down as a member of  the mayoral committee in Nelson Mandela Bay. He is appealing an assault conviction after he was found guilty of hitting a fellow councillor with a glass water jug.

Ramaphosa said last year he was confident that there had been no wrongdoing or criminal activity in all the affairs of the CR17 campaign. The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) said it did not find any evidence of money laundering in the bank accounts linked to the campaign.

In March, the high court in Pretoria set aside findings and remedial action of the public protector into whether the president had violated the executive ethics code by deliberately misleading parliament about a donation made to the campaign by Gavin Watson of African Global Operations.

Lungisa's letter comes after another Zuma sympathiser, Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama, opened a case against the president last Saturday.

In an affidavit, which he filed at the Hillbrow police station, Mngxitama said his case was based on publicly available information which the president has not denied.

This includes an affidavit by the director of the Financial Intelligence Centre, advocate Xolisile Khanyile, one by public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and another by Ramaphosa.

The affidavits are part of a court case between the president and Mkhwebane over a report on donations made to the CR17 campaign.

“Information in the public domain shows that the total amount paid for the benefit of president Ramaphosa to be elected as the president of the ANC and subsequently, president of the Republic of South Africa amounted to R1bn.

“After president Ramaphosa had subsequently been elected as the president of the Republic of South Africa, the people who assisted him with funding in his race to become the president benefited in one way or the other. Others were appointed in key positions while some business people received lucrative contracts with government,” said Mngxitama.    

He said he was suspicious that individuals and business people who contributed to the campaign funding have “captured” Ramaphosa and use the support they gave him to influence the policy trajectory of the country and subvert SA’s democracy.            


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