Maimane to approach Zondo commission over Trillian exec’s role in CR17 donation

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.

READ MORE: CR17 campaign fund linked to former Trillian Capital director — Maimane

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?”

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Small towns not ready for level 3

Officials in Beaufort West, which is on a route that links the Cape with the rest of the country, are worried relaxed lockdown regulations mean residents are now at risk of contracting Covid-19

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday