Home South African Zondo Commission: Ramaphosa quizzed on Bosasa’s ANC ‘war room’ funding

Zondo Commission: Ramaphosa quizzed on Bosasa’s ANC ‘war room’ funding

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Evidence leader advocate Paul Pretorius quizzed President Cyril Ramaphosa on how the ANC was not aware of the conflict of interest.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Screengrab: SABC/YouTube

PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa faced questions on why the ANC continued to accept donations from facilities management company Bosasa when the company had been implicated in corruption.

Ramaphosa was appearing at the Zondo Commission on Wednesday. The commission has previously heard how the ruling party benefited from Bosasa donations.

One of the glaring instances was the company funding an ANC “war room” ahead of the 2014 elections. This account was provided in detail by former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi.

Bosasa also funded the ANC’s elections campaign with food parcels and party T-shirts in some instances. These donations were made while Bosasa had been awarded numerous government contracts at the Department of Correctional Services.

Evidence leader advocate Paul Pretorius quizzed Ramaphosa on how the ANC was not aware of the conflict of interest.

“It must have been known to the party that Bosasa was reliant on government contracts. It must also have been known that the ANC benefited from an elections war room and events that took place. How could it happen that the party continued to receive benefit from a company reliant on government contracts?” Pretorius asked.

Ramaphosa did not directly answer the question but admitted that the party did benefit from Bosasa. He explained that the Political Funding Act, which came into effect on April 1, would be the saviour for transparency in political funding.

“It did happen. What is prominent in my mind is to say what is it we do to prevent it from happening? The Political Funding Act will be our saviour. Transparency for me is the biggest saviour, the limitations on amounts will give a limit of control.”

He added: “In this case, it did happen. That company Bosasa had contracts and funded an ANC election room, unless there’s something criminal, it should be pursued. We should say how do we move to a new situation where we do not have a capture of that type.”

Bosasa is not the only company that has donated to the ANC which has been implicated at the inquiry.

Other ANC linked kickbacks include a Prasa contract linked to businessman Auswell Mashaba. Mashaba’s company, Swifambo Rail Leasing, had been awarded an R3.5 billion contract. The businessman claimed he was asked for a donation by the ANC.

Another kickback allegation surfaced with businessman Edwin Sodi, when he admitted to making donations to the ANC and various ANC members. Sodi was the beneficiary of millions of rand worth of government contracts – which were mostly linked to human settlement projects.

He is currently facing charges linked to a Free State asbestos housing project.

Ramaphosa will continue his testimony at the inquiry on Thursday.

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