President Cyril Ramaphosa has said he is not the least bit concerned about the furore surrounding his CR17 campaign funding and is willing to lay all his cards on the table, as far as the matter is concerned.
Ramaphosa spoke in an interview with Newzroom Afrika, days after he read out the African National Congress (ANC) January 8 statement. He said when the ANC Integrity Commission approached him about the CR17 campaign funding, he asked that other processes, including a court battle with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, first play out before he can appear and give his side of the story.
“I have no fear about that issue and the issue of transparency is there. So I’m quite keen to proceed along that line because that’s what it should be,” Ramaphosa said.
The ANC president told the news channel he had accepted that the Commission was unhappy with the fact that he hasn’t appeared in two years. “They chastised me in their leaked commission report and I accepted the chastisement,” Ramaphosa said.
His comments come after a letter was leaked, in which he lashes out at the ANC Integrity Commission and accuses it of creating the impression that he was delinquent. Ramaphosa was called to the Commission to answer to allegations of vote-buying at the ANC’s elective conference, in which he was voted as president.
Mkhwebane had taken Ramaphosa to court, urging the High Court in Pretoria to force him to disclose the funds donated to his CR17 campaign in his bid to become ANC president. However this was set aside and the public protector took the matter to the Constitutional Court, which has since reserved judgement.
In light of the developments surrounding the matter, Ramaphosa said he himself offered to appear before the commission.
“I am therefore surprised that the chairperson’s report asserts that it is with ‘great disappointment to the IC when the president explained to the chairperson that since this was a legal matter, he did not feel it was right to discuss the CR17 campaign funds until the legal matter was finalised’. This sentiment was certainly not expressed to me by the chairperson at the time,” Ramaphosa said in the letter.
“My intention in making the proposal was by no means aimed at avoiding my appearance before the IC. In fact, the opposite is true.”