Bosasa saga: CR17 campaign fund linked to former Trillian Capital director — Maimane

'We cannot have double standards when it comes to bribery and corruption,' says DA leader Mmusi Maimane (David Harrison/M&G)

'We cannot have double standards when it comes to bribery and corruption,' says DA leader Mmusi Maimane (David Harrison/M&G)

Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has claimed that the funds used to support Cyril Ramaphosa’s campaign for ANC presidency are linked to a former Trillian Capital director.

In a press statement released on Tuesday, Maimane has said that President Cyril Ramaphosa has “little choice” but to appoint a “full-scale independent inquiry to fully investigate the Bosasa scandal”. Maimane has asked that the inquiry is headed by a retired judge to be selected by the Chief Justice.

According to Maimane, the fund, named “efg2”, was administered by law firm Edelstein, Farber and Grobler (EFG). EFG director Jeffrey Afriat, Maimane alleged, administered the account and served as one of three directors of asset management firm Trillian Capital.

The R500 000 that Ramaphosa unknowingly received from Bosasa — African Global Operations — was also “funnelled through” this trust account, Maimane said.

READ MORE: DA calls for full-scale investigation

“Afriat served as a director during 2016 alongside Mr Eric Wood – at the apex of State Capture and theft of public money by the Guptas and the ANC,” said Maimane.

Wood was the chief executive of Trillian and had a 25% stake in the company.
Gupta lieutenant Salim Essa had a 60% stake in Trillion

“Afriat is also cited twice by name in Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report. Afriat resigned as Trillian director shortly before the Budlender Inquiry into Trillian was launched.”

Maimane believes that South Africans cannot have double standards with regards to corruption, claiming “this system of corruption has become part of the very fabric of the ANC – regardless of who leads the organisation.”

“We cannot have double standards when it comes to bribery and corruption – particularly not when it involves the highest office of the country. The President’s links to Bosasa – including all payments made to him, to the ANC and to his son, whether directly or through shell companies, third parties or trust accounts – must be investigated in detail,” said Maimane.

When contacted for comment, the Presidency’s spokesperson Khusela Diko declined to comment as the “EFG is a private enterprise which regulates its own affairs. This President has no involvement with the firm nor control over its affairs including who its directors are.”

In a document sent by EFG to the Presidency, it noted that Afriat was a non-executive director at Trillian capital between March and November 2016. He “rendered legal professional services (in his capacity as a practising attorney) to Trillian Capital Partners.”

The document stated that Afriat did not participate in any of Trillian’s activities nor did he have a personal relationship or affiliation with the employees and directors at Trillian.

“Mr Afriat has never had any involvement in and plays not role whatsoever in the administration of the EFG2 account.”

This article has been amended to reflect comment from the Presidency.

Gemma Ritchie

Gemma Ritchie

Gemma Ritchie works in the Mail & Guardian's online department. She majored in English Literature at a small liberal arts college in the USA.  Read more from Gemma Ritchie

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