Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane is set to approach the commission of inquiry into state capture to request a probe into the role of Jeffrey Afriat as a non-executive director at a Gupta-linked asset management firm Trillian Capital and administrator of President Cyril Ramaphosa ANC presidency campaign fund.
On Tuesday, Maimane claimed that Ramaphosa CR17’s campaign was linked to Afriat.
Ramaphosa’s campaign fund “efg2” was administered by law firm Edelstein, Farber and Grobler (EFG). But Maimane has raised concerns that Afriat, as a director at EFG, was one of three directors of Trillian.
“The reality is that Mr Afriat was a director of Trillian Capital. Afriat is also cited twice by name in Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report,” Maimane said in a statementon Wednesday.
“Afriat resigned as Trillian director shortly before the Budlender Inquiry into Trillian was launched. These are not wild allegations, they are just facts, and they are worthy of further exploration by an independent inquiry,” Maimane added.
The law firm has disputed Maimane’s claims regarding Afrait, saying he was never involved in the activities of Trillian and that he was a non-executive director at Trillian between March and November 2016.
Since Maimane made the claim of a link between Afriat and the CR17 campaign, EFG and Afriat have announced they plan to institute legal proceedings against the DA leader and his party “as a result of the defamatory statements and innuendos in the press statement.”
According to a document that was sent to the Presidency by EFG, Afirat “rendered professional legal services (in his capacity as a practising attorney) to Trillian Capital Partners.”
In a press release, EFG further stated: “The trust account was created for the purposes of collecting funds in respect of the CR17 campaign and the funds received in the trust have been properly accounted for and audited.”
EFG added that it was “not privy to donors’ information and/or details and simply administered a trust account”, nor was the money associated in respect of the CR17 campaign “unlawful or clandestine”.
Maimane has disputed EFG’s claims, asking: “If this were true, and all of the funds were properly accounted for, then why didn’t they know that Bosasa had made a donation, and why did the President initially say this payment was for his son?”