Ramaphosa under pressure to clarify Bosasa donation ahead of Sona

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga says President Cyril Ramaphosa cannot afford to 'flip-flop' on such an important issue given Bosasa’s reputation.

President Cyril Ramaphosa replying to questions orally in the National Assembly in Parliament on 6 November 2018. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa is being urged to take the country into his confidence about the true nature of the R500,000 donation made to help his presidential campaign by scandal-plagued company Bosasa.

Ramaphosa has been at pains to distance himself from the company after he first said in Parliament last year that the money was channelled through his son Andile’s company for consulting services.

He had to go back on his word shortly afterwards, saying the donation went towards a trust fund set up for his campaign.

On Tuesday, Ramaphosa met with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane after Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane requested that there be an investigation into whether the president violated the executive ethics code.

There’s been no public feedback on what Ramaphosa and Mkhwebane discussed in their meeting.

But the Presidency’s Khusela Diko said Ramaphosa would likely repeat what he had already stated.

“He answered based on the information that he had at that time. When he realised his error he was the one who took the initiative and corrected it.”

Political analyst Ralph Mathekga says Ramaphosa cannot afford to “flip-flop” on such an important issue given Bosasa’s reputation.

“The president will have to explain the discrepancies of his statement. Why did he change his statement? Was it because he was deliberately deceived? What happened there? I think responding to this will take more than just repeating what he has said in public.”

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters has threatened to disrupt Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) next week if he does not clarify what has undoubtedly become a thorny issue, especially during a crucial election year.