The cobweb of Bosasa donation is getting even more complicated for South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa, following an intensive investigation.
Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane is investigating President Cyril Ramaphosa for alleged money laundering related to donations of more than R400m to his ANC presidential campaign.
Mkhwebane has scrutinised three bank accounts linked to Ramaphosa and is questioning transactions.
Her investigation follows a complaint by DA leader Mmusi Maimane about a R500,000 donation to Ramaphosa’s campaign by Bosasa, a company that had dodgy contracts with government departments.
If Mkhwebane finds against Ramaphosa, it could provide evidence for a possible impeachment.
But Ramaphosa’s supporters have begun a fightback, and senior ANC leaders have discussed asking the DA to withdraw its complaint so they can initiate a probe into Mkhwebane’s fitness to hold office.
Bosasa, under its CEO Gavin Watson, has been accused of bribing ANC politicians with large sums of monthly retainers to secure lucrative government tenders worth more than R10 billion.
Watson donated R500 000 to Ramaphosa’s campaign team to support his election as ANC president at the party’s nail-biting 2017 national conference in Nasrec.
The DA anticipated that an adverse finding against Ramaphosa would have been favourable to the opposition’s bid to unseat the dominant ANC, as he is seen to be the embattled governing party.
Even Ramaphosa’s opponents inside the ANC found the prospects of embarrassing him tantalising but felt losing electoral support over the saga would be more costly for all factions.
Ramaphosa has been dogged by the Bosasa issue after he gave a misleading explanation in Parliament on his son Andile Ramaphosa’s business ties with the corruption-accused firm – which he later said was an honest mistake – as well as his ignorance of the R500 000 campaign donation.
“The Public Protector has decided to widen the ambit of the investigation significantly to include other issues uncovered during the investigation – including possible financial irregularities