DA leader Mmusi Maimane used his party’s Gauteng East campaign launch ahead of the 2019 elections to take aim at President Cyril Ramaphosa, saying that the president didn’t declare a Bosasa payment because it is dirty money.
Speaking in Germiston, Ekurhuleni on Saturday, Maimane said the R500 000 payment by Bosasa, which Ramaphosa claims was a donation to his campaign for ANC president in 2017, “looks suspiciously like all other ANC government corruption deals.”
The president said in a statement on Friday that he was unaware of the payment.
Ramaphosa backtracked on a response he gave before the National Assembly 11 days ago about the payment from Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson, allegedly for the benefit of his son, Andile.
This emerged in a letter Ramaphosa wrote to the Speaker of the National Assembly dated November 14, saying he had inadvertently provided incorrect information in his initial response.
“This goes beyond just campaign financing. This is a kind of insider trading – where a company ‘invests’ heavily in a candidate, knowing that it will pay off multiple times over if the candidate is successful through preferential treatment when it comes to tenders,” Maimane said in his speech.
Bosasa money, dirty money
“No wonder the President didn’t declare this payment – it’s dirty money.”
Maimane went on to say that Ramaphosa was not the only ANC member to score with Bosasa.
“A long list of ANC ministers and other cadres of the party received extensive security upgrades like CCTV cameras, alarm systems and electric fencing free of charge from Bosasa. This list includes Gwede Mantashe, Nomvula Mokonyane, Thabang Makwetla, Dudu Myeni, Linda Mti, Mbulelo Gingcana and Vincent Smith.”
“He [Ramaphosa] now wants us to believe he knew nothing of the money at the time it was paid.”
“Just like he knew nothing of the Guptas and of State Capture, and of the looting at our State Owned Enterprises for the entire time that he was Deputy President and Chair of the ANC’s Deployment Committee,” Maimane added.
Ramaphosa must come clean
Maimane said that Ramaphosa’s correction and explanation was not good enough.
“That’s not a good enough answer. He needs to tell us – and he needs to show us – exactly how much money he received from Bosasa, and what Bosasa got in return.”
Maimane added that Ramaphosa keeps talking about a new dawn but that it looks more like the old dawn – “the South Africa where Presidents and their sons, along with their friends and families and cronies, end up with money that’s not theirs.”
“The South Africa where those close to the ruling party are set for life, and those without the right connections are left out in the cold.”
Land Expropriation without Compensation
The DA also took a stab at the EFF over the party teaming up with the ANC to adopt the recommendation that Section 25 of the Constitution be amended to allow for the expropriation of land without compensation.
“They were voting for the same corrupt patronage system perfected in municipalities, but on a massive scale.”
“If this plan goes ahead, the ANC will have rigged the economy in favour of those with political connections, effectively locking the rest of the people out,” said Maimane.
“All the power to decide who gets access to land and who doesn’t will rest in the hands of the very people who perfected the evil of patronage politics.”
EFF and ANC realign
Maimane said that the a year ago, the ANC wanted nothing to do with expropriation without compensation, but today they are inseparable from the EFF.
“They have outsourced their entire policy on land to a violent, radical fringe party with barely 6% of the vote.”
“What we’re seeing developing between the ANC and the EFF is a realignment of politics.”
“These two parties, that started out as opponents, have now coalesced around certain principles and certain behaviours. They have coalesced around nationalisation, whether this is of land, the reserve bank or healthcare. They have coalesced around race and racial nationalism.”
Maimane said it was a good that the ANC/EFF alliance was out in the open because people must know what their party stands for.
“They must know that, in the ANC/EFF alliance they get a party that believes the state must own and control everything, a party that believes in racial division and racial mobilisation, and a party that will support and hide each other’s corruption.”