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Ramaphosa’s office denies using Watson’s R500 000 donation for campaigning

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Testifying at the Zondo Commission, Andile Ramaphosa revealed that Gavin Watson of Bosasa had donated R500 000 towards the CR17 campaign, which the presidency denies utilising.

Earlier today, 27 March 2019, Political Analysis South Africa reported on the new developments of the Zondo Commission into State Capture, in which Andile Ramaphosa, son of President Cyril Ramaphosa, had testified. In an exclusive interview with News24, Andile Ramaphosa indicated that he had received R2 million from African Global Operations (AGO), formerly known as the corruption-ridden Bosasa, through his company Blue Crane Capital. He also stated that Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson had personally donated R500 000 towards the CR17 campaign which saw President Ramaphosa assume the leadership role in the African National Congress (ANC) in December 2017.

The Democratic Alliance (DA), amongst other parties, had called for President Ramaphosa to testify at the Zondo Commission as the donation from Watson made him complicit in dodgy and corrupt deals. The office of the Presidency has since released a lengthy statement, in which it details what the President knows about his son Andile’s dealings with Bosasa.

In the statement, the Presidency acknowledges receiving money from Watson, but highlights that it is in no way connected with the R2 million that Andile received through his company.

“President Ramaphosa was made aware of the business relationship between his son’s business and AGO in September 2018 after he was informed about a rumour that Mr Andile Ramaphosa had received a payment of R500 000 from AGO. Mr Andile Ramaphosa explained to the President the nature of the business and showed him a copy of the contract.

“However, as the President was subsequently made aware, the payment of R500 000 had been a donation by Mr Gavin Watson of AGO to the CR17 campaign through an attorney trust account that was used for the purposes of fundraising for the political campaign.

“The donation of R500 000 to the CR17 campaign by Mr Watson was distinct from, and unrelated to, the contract between Blue Crane and AGO.

“The President has subsequently been informed that, following revelations at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, the former CR17 campaign managers took a decision to return the donation. The funds amounting to R500 000, have been placed in an attorney’s trust account until allegations against Mr Watson and AGO have been clarified,” read the statement.

The office of the President stated that the president was willing and committed to appearing before the Zondo Commission.

Abenathi Gqomo
[email protected]

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