Ramaphosa was within his rights to be involved in campaign fundraising – analyst

Governance specialist Judith February said although the public was sceptical about the influence of money in politics, no law criminalised President Cyril Ramaphosa’s conduct as exposed in leaked emails recently.

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - As the debate over President Cyril Ramaphosa’s fundraising for his African National Congress (ANC) presidential campaign rages on, there were assertions that he was within his rights to be involved.

This week, the Presidency said Ramaphosa had limited involvement in the fundraising efforts after he initially told the Public Protector that he was kept in the dark about monies during the campaign.

Governance specialist Judith February said that although the public was skeptical about the influence of money in politics, no law criminalised Ramaphosa’s conduct as exposed in leaked emails recently.

February described the email leaks as mischievous.

“We know that it was a bitter and quite dirty battle, and no doubt everyone, including Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma’s campaign, was doing exactly the same thing. There was no law against him raising money or being involved in trying to raise money with businesses and so on,” she said.

South Africa recently enacted the Political Party Funding Act, which would regulate public and private funding of political parties to encourage transparency.

February said even if this law had come into effect before the ANC conference in 2017, Ramaphosa would still be in the clear as it does not prohibit candidates from raising funds in their campaigns.