According to Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane, “Someone is being economical with the truth”, hence his party has submitted two Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) applications to “gain access” to a contract between President Cyril Ramaphosa’s son and controversial facilities management company Bosasa.
In a statement, Maimane said he sent the applications to both the Presidency and to Bosasa — which is now known as African Global Group — to ensure that Ramaphosa’s son, Andile, did “not receive any preferential treatment by virtue of him being the son of the president”.
President Ramaphosa answered questions before the National Assembly last week where Maimane asked him about a payment of R500 000 made out to Andile by Bosasa chief executive Gavin Watson. Maimane also presented proof of payment and an affidavit supporting this payment.
In his answer, Ramaphosa confirmed that his son has conducted business with Bosasa but that the deal was above board.
“I can assure you, Mr Maimane, that I asked him at close range whether this was money obtained illegally‚ unlawfully — and he said this was a service that was provided. To this end‚ he actually even showed me a contract that he signed with Bosasa. The contract also deals with issues of integrity‚ issues of anti-corruption, and all that,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa continued, saying his son was running a “clear and honest financial consultancy business” where “he consults for a number of companies on entrepreneurship, particularly on the procurement process.” Ramaphosa said however, that if he gets wind of the money being obtained illegally, he will personally ensure that Andile is held accountable.
Following his father’s responses in Parliament, the younger Ramaphosa refuted claims he received R500 000, telling News24: “I have absolutely nothing to do with this. I have never received such a payment.”
“In a country where almost 10-million of our people are unemployed and cannot find work, any shadow of doubt pertaining to the president’s immediate family must be thoroughly interrogated. If there is nothing to hide, both Andile Ramaphosa and African Global Group should have no hesitation in releasing the contract that underpins their agreement and relationship,” Maimane said.
This is not the first time this year that a Bosasa payment has been the subject of scrutiny.
In September, the DA reported ANC MP Vincent Smith to Parliament’s ethics committee following allegations that he received at least R670 000 by Bosasa over the past three years.
Smith also allegedly accepted the installation of electric fences and a high-end CCTV system at his home worth roughly R200 000, and R100 000 in cash from Watson every month.
He confirmed that he had received the funds, but denied knowledge that the money was paid by Bosasa. He instead explained the payment by saying that he had entered into a personal loan agreement with former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi, and believed that Agrizzi was loaning him the money out of his own pocket.