Bosasa boss Gavin Watson. Image credit: The South African
By BO Staff Writer
On 7 February 2019, Black First Land First (BLF) instituted criminal charges against President Cyril Ramaphosa at Cape Town Central Police Station under case no 342/2/2019.
To this end the black consciousness organization has said that nothing has come of those criminal charges despite the fact that it has provided sufficient evidence to the South African Police Service (SAPS) regarding, amongst other things, the President’s corrupt relationship with Bosasa. BLF has indicated that the salient points of this evidence include the following:
i. President Cyril Ramaphosa has publicly admitted to benefitting from the illegal receipt of R500 000 from Gavin Watson, the CEO of Bosasa (currently known as African Global Operations), towards securing his presidency in the African National Congress (ANC) and in the country at the party’s 54th national elective conference (which was held from 16 to 20 December 2017).
ii. On 18 November 2018 ‘the former CR17 campaign management team … said they would audit money raised for his candidacy and return R500000 made on behalf of Bosasa’s Gavin Watson.’
iii. On 6 November 2018 the DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, asked Ramaphosa in the National Assembly (NA) ‘about his knowledge on the R500 000 deposited into his son’s account’. Ramaphosa said that the amount of R500 000 that was deposited by Bosasa into Andile’s (his son’s) bank account was for a service rendered by his son’s business.
iv. Ten days later on 16 November 2018, Ramaphosa changed his version he previously gave in the NA in response to the question mentioned above. He now admitted that the money from Bosasa was for his ANC presidential election campaign in 2017. To this end he indicated that the payment was made by Andile without his knowledge. This is suggestive of Ramaphosa having corrupt dealings with Bosasa.
v. In an affidavit deposed to by Petrus Stephanus Venter (former Bosasa official), which was produced by Maimane, Venter indicates that he was forced by Bosasa’s Gavin Watson to pay the money into the trust account of Andile.
vi. Ramaphosa said that his son Andile was doing business with (and to this end was a consultant for) Bosasa. Correcting his previous version on his son’s business dealings with Bosasa, Ramaphosa stated as follows in a letter to the Speaker of the NA, Baleka Mbete:
“Since my reply in the National Assembly, I have sought to get more information regarding this matter. I have been subsequently informed that the payment referred to in the supplementary question by the leader of the opposition does not relate to that contract”.
vii. He further stated:
“I have been told that the payment to which the leader of the opposition referred was made on behalf of Mr Gavin Watson into a trust account that was used to raise funds for a campaign established to support my candidature for the presidency of the ANC.”
viii. So Ramaphosa initially stated that the amount of R500,000 that was paid into an account that was linked to his son was in fact a legitimate business transaction. A few days later he contradicted himself when he stated that the payment was a donation in respect of his 2017 ANC presidential election campaign.
ix. Clearly Ramaphosa has broken his oath of office and lied before parliament when he denied receiving the R500 000 for his campaign.
x. Evidently Ramaphosa only admitted that the money was for his ANC presidential election campaign in 2017 because the evidence against him as suggested in the affidavit of Venter was clear and overwhelming.
xi. Ramaphosa asked for the funds from Bosasa. This is why it was deposited by Bosasa into a trust account that was used to raise funds for his ANC presidential election campaign. It follows that the contracts awarded to Bosasa was to reward it for its support for Ramaphosa and his family.
xii. In response to questions raised by the DA in the NA it emerged that Bosasa has received an amount of at least R2.8billion from government for services rendered in the past decade to two public entities and two government departments.The contracts in this regard amount to R900 308 592 in value.
xiii. Bosasa has accordingly benefitted immensely from government contracts and funded Ramaphosa’s election campaigns with R500000 to ensure that it continues to benefit in this regard.
BLF laid charges of corruption, money laundering as well as contravening the provisions of Section 96 of the Constitution. The following was canvassed in this regard:
i. Ramaphosa has contravened Section 96 (1) of the Constitution which provides that:
‘Members of the Cabinet and Deputy Ministers must act in accordance with a code of ethics prescribed by national legislation’
ii. Ramaphosa has further breached his obligations under section 96(2)(b) and (c) of the Constitution which provides as follows:
‘(2) Members of the Cabinet and Deputy Ministers may not—
(b) act in any way that is inconsistent with their office, or expose themselves to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between their official responsibilities and private interests; or
(c) use their position or any information entrusted to them, to enrich themselves or improperly benefit any other person’.
iii. The evidence against Ramaphosa suggests corruption in service of state capture by white monopoly capital (WMC) by Bosasa.
iv. Money of white monopoly capital was used to buy the ANC Nasrec Conference.
The Public Protector (PP) Busisiwe Mkhwebane has since found in mid 2019 that Ramaphosa misled parliament; violated the executive ethics code and acted inconsistently with his office. She also found prima facie evidence of money laundering in the donations made to the CR17 campaign. Her investigation related to the above mentioned donation of R500,000 made by the Bosasa head Gavin Watson to the CR17 campaign.
Subsequent to the PP’s findings, at least two people with solid evidence on how Ramaphosa was sponsored by WMC to buy the Nasrec Conference have died under suspicious circumstances.
First Barry Eugene Farber – founder of EFG and the lawyer into whose trust account Bosasa deposited the R500 000 donation for the CR17 campaign – died in his sleep in August 2019. EFG was the main channel for money laundering to fund the heist that happened in the Nasrec conference. Faber had in his possession all the evidence of the grand corruption that ensured that WMC has bought itself a President.
Then a few days later Gavin Watson the CEO of Bosasa also died. The PP’s finding that Ramaphosa had misled the NA deliberately regarding the R500 000 donation made by Bosasa’s Watson in responding to a question that Maimane asked him, is instructive here. That’s why Watson had to go.
BLF has reportedly called for an independent investigation into these sudden deaths of people close to the corruption around the CR17 campaign.
Ramaphosa now seeks an order from the North Gauteng High Court setting aside the PP’s “Bosasa report” on the following basis:
– he had no knowledge of the donation made by Gavin Watson to his presidential campaign; and
– the PP lacked the necessary jurisdiction to investigate any donation made to a political campaign that was private.
Ramaphosa’s legal team seeks to show the court that Mkhwebane erred in her findings. The PP is opposing Ramaphosa’s application to set aside her report and declare her findings unlawful.
The hearing which started on Tuesday has been set down for three days.
In the meanwhile the SAPS seems to be protecting Ramaphosa against the criminal charges laid by BLF.