World

Cyril Ramaphosa’s R440m presidential price ticket


‘No one received payment that was not in respect of services rendered to the campaign. If there was a beneficiary, it was CR17 and all it stood for’

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says there may be “merit” to allegations that President Cyril Ramaphosa may need used a sequence of trusts and complicated monetary transactions to disguise the “laundering” of greater than R440 million donated to his ANC presidential marketing campaign.

These findings are contained in her report, launched on Friday, which discovered Ramaphosa’s marketing campaign acquired the a whole lot of thousands and thousands of rands in donations.

The cash was managed by Ramaphosa’s CR17 marketing campaign managers and channelled into three belief accounts, a marketing campaign account and a personal firm in a sequence of complicated monetary transactions.

These had been the EFG2 belief account, belonging to legislation agency Edelstein Faber Grobbler, the CR17 marketing campaign account, the Ria Tenda belief account, the Cyril Ramaphosa Basis belief account, and a service supplier known as Linkd Environmental Providers.

Mkhwebane’s report, launched on Friday, concluded that these transactions gave credence to allegations that they may have amounted to cash laundering.

The legislation agency was liable for distributing marketing campaign funds which went into the EFG2 belief account.

The report follows Mkhwebane’s investigation into whether or not controversial firm Bosasa donated R500 000 to Ramaphosa’s marketing campaign.

She discovered the cash had been channelled by intermediaries earlier than ultimately touchdown within the EFG2 account.

In October 2017 the R500 000 was transferred from the private account of Bosasa chief government Gavin Watson into that of Miotto Buying and selling, an organization owned by Bosasa’s tax advisor Petrus Venter and his sister.

From Miotto Buying and selling the cash was transferred to the EFG2 account.

In mild of the broader allegations of cash laundering, Mkhwebane mentioned she needed to look into different funds acquired by the EFG2 account, which led her to Ria Tenda belief account, the Cyril Ramaphosa Basis belief, the CR17 marketing campaign account and the Linkd Environmental providers account.

“I have evidence which indicates that some of the money collected through the CR17 account was transferred into the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation account. I have evidence which indicates that some of the money collected through the CR17 campaign account was also transferred into the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation account from where it was also transferred to other beneficiaries,” Mkhwebane mentioned in her report.

The EFG2 account disbursed funds to the opposite accounts the marketing campaign used.

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“I can confirm that large sums of money were transferred by various benefactors into the EFG2 trust account for the CR17 campaign from where it was disbursed by the attorneys to several beneficiaries, including Ria Tenda trust, Linkd Environmental services and the Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, to name but a few,” she wrote.

Mkhwebane discovered that greater than R191 million flowed into the EFG2 belief account between December 6 2016 and January 1 final 12 months, and about R190 million was transferred out of the account throughout the identical interval.

“In conclusion, on the above revelations relating to exchanges of large sums of money, some of which were received from private companies, I wish to express my preliminary view that such a scenario, when looked at carefully, creates a situation of the risk of some sort of state capture by those donating these moneys to the campaign,” she wrote.

“Based on the facts before me, as well as evidence adduced during my investigation, I have come to the conclusion that there is merit to the allegation relating to the suspicion of money laundering as alluded to in the complaint lodged with my office.”

However in a submission to Mkhwebane, by the legislation agency Harris Nupen Molebatsi, Ramaphosa mentioned that from September 2015 to Could 2016 he had funded his personal marketing campaign to the tune of R200 000 as he had no sponsors.

  • Apart from his personal donations and people made by his marketing campaign managers, James Motlatsi, Sifiso Dabengwa and Donné Nicol, Ramaphosa mentioned he didn’t know the identities of different donors.

“The finance committee oversaw all campaign finances and was responsible for ensuring that the funds were spent economically and for the purpose for which they were intended, which was the payment of the expenses of the campaign,” Ramaphosa submitted. No people, he mentioned, benefited from funds supposed for his marketing campaign.

“No individual received payment that was not in respect of services rendered to the campaign. If there was a beneficiary it was CR17 and all that it stood for,” he mentioned.

From the quantities he submitted, Ramaphosa lent thousands and thousands of rands of his personal cash to his marketing campaign.

On September 12 2017 he donated R5 million into the Ria Tenda account and 5 days later he loaned an additional R20 million.

He loaned his marketing campaign an additional R11 million, which he deposited into Ria Tenda in two tranches, on December 6 2017 and July 28 final 12 months.

The fund-raising workforce contacted various donors, asking them to deposit their contributions in both the EFG2 or Ria Tenda accounts, Ramaphosa mentioned in his submission.

On Could 30 2017 Nicol instructed EFG to route all funds made to the EFG account to Ria Tenda or Linkd.

“Linkd and the Ria Tenda trust would then disburse payments on the instructions of the fund-raising committee. However, following the establishment of the Ria Tenda trust no payments were made by EFG to Linkd. All payments from the EFG2 account were made to the Ria Tenda trust account,” Ramaphosa mentioned in his submission.

“CR17’s funds accordingly were raised from party members, the president himself, as well as party supporters and interested parties.”

Neither Ramaphosa nor any member of his household acquired cash from the marketing campaign, he mentioned.

“In fact the president contributed R6.2 million to the campaign and loaned the campaign a further R31 million, of which the campaign has refunded him only R21.5 million,” his submission states.

Ramaphosa additionally dismissed questions raised about marketing campaign cash that was paid into his basis.

He argued that the Cyril Ramaphosa Basis earned the cash legitimately as a result of it supplied providers, equivalent to lodging, to the CR17 marketing campaign.

Ria Tenda had been mandated to obtain donations in direction of his marketing campaign, he mentioned, including that he performed no function within the institution of the Ria Tenda belief.

Equally, Ramaphosa mentioned Linkd, which has been in operation since 2008, had nothing to do with him.

In 2017 Ria Tenda and Linkd signed a service-level settlement during which the corporate agreed to supply accounting and monetary administration providers tothe Ria Tenda belief.


 



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