South Africa’s president to return $35k campaign donation by a firm accused of corruption.
London, November 19, 2018 (AltAfrica)-South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is to repay $35,000 given to his leadership campaign by a firm accused of corruption.
The donor, a firm called Bosasa, has won lucrative government contracts but is under investigation.
President Ramaphosa initially told MPs the money had been paid to his son, Andile, for consultancy work for Bosasa.
By later admitting it was a donation, he undermined his own anti-corruption fight, the BBC’s Will Ross reports.
The controversy is a setback for a president who has vowed to fight corruption.
President Ramaphosa also ordered a review of all payments to his campaign for the leadership of the African National Congress (ANC).
Answering questions in parliament on November 6, President Ramaphosa said money paid to his son by Bosasa (which is now named African Global Operations) had been for legitimate business between the company and Andile.
Then, in a written clarification to parliament this week, he said he had been subsequently informed that the payment did not relate to his son but had been paid into a fund used for his leadership campaign.
“The donation was made without my knowledge,” President Ramaphosa wrote.
“I was not aware of the existence of the donation at the time that I answered the question.”
Sent to prison
On Saturday, AFP news agency reports, ANC spokesman Zizi Kodwa told state media the president had “decided voluntarily that he will pay back the said amount”.
Mr Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance, has said the Bosasa payment looks “suspiciously like all other ANC government corruption deals”.
Since taking over from Jacob Zuma, who stepped down in February in the face of mounting corruption allegations, President Ramaphosa has campaigned for probity in public life.
Just this month, he described the corruption plaguing South Africa as an “amoeba” with “tentacles all over”.
Acknowledging that South Africans were angry and needed to see senior government officials tried and sent to prison, he compared the current situation to that of a rape victim forced to watch her attacker go unpunished (BBC)