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Maimane: Guptas & Zuma were not the first - or last - to capture the state

'If you think what we ought to be doing is just attacking one person, you are wrong. We must attack the whole system,' DA leader Mmusi Maimane said.

FILE: DA leader Mmusi Maimane at Dobsonville Stadium on 4 May 2019 for the party’s final election rally. Picture: Kayleen Morgan /EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Amid the leaks from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s African National Congress (ANC) presidential campaign in 2017, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said the system of patronage within the governing party needed to be destroyed.

In a Twitter video on Tuesday, Maimane said since the DA asked the president in Parliament in November 2018 about a R500,000 donation he received from corruption-accused company African Global Operations, previously known as Bosasa, a lot emerged in the public domain that posed a threat to the country’s democracy.

“A lot has unfolded, many people say it’s personal [and] it’s about campaign donations, but I want to make a few things very clear. Firstly, this is about a system. It’s about the fact that the ANC decided that it would capture the state. And the way to capture the state, as agreed in the National Democratic Revolution, is to ensure that you deploy cadres that are loyal to the party not to the citizens,” Maimane said in the video which was posted on his Twitter account.

The DA leader claimed this system of patronage ensured the capture of the ANC and government institutions by payments made to members of the party.

“This is the same movie; it’s been repeated over and over again. So, when you interrogate the emails, you discover the same modus operandi that was in place. You capture members of the party by paying them off, you let them come on board and ensure that they then get rewarded financially and others end up in government,” Maimane said.

“Those people are no longer loyal to the portfolios that they are deployed to and they end up serving the leader or the party, and the rest is history. You can even deploy people to positions of Chapter Nine institutions et cetera,” he added.

• Claims I abused CR17 funds based on malice – Ntshavheni

Ramaphosa has been under fire since emails and bank statements were leaked related to the December 2017 Nasrec conference for his campaign, which saw him win the ANC presidency in a tightly contested race against Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The campaign, popularly known as the CR17 campaign, was also the subject of an investigation by the Public Protector.

Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that the president had misled Parliament over the R500,000 donation from Bosasa and recommended in her remedial action, among others, that Ramaphosa should face an ethics probe by Parliament and that the National Prosecuting Authority should investigate allegations of money laundering involving his campaign funds.

Ramaphosa has since taken the report on judicial review to be set aside and successfully interdicted its remedial action and recommendations from being implemented pending the finalisation of the case.

Recently, it emerged that the CR17 campaign - which raised almost R1 billion in funds - had paid monies to Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula, Deputy Minister of State Security Zizi Kodwa, and two Economic Freedom Fighters MPs who subsequently resigned from their positions in the party.

• Kodwa: Ramaphosa unfazed by attacks on him

Maimane said the payments made to various individuals were a dangerous trend.

“So, if you think what we ought to be doing is just attacking one person, you are wrong,” he said. “We must attack the whole system. We must destroy the patronage that is within the ANC. Because if we are not careful, soon after that another faction will come on board, it will take over government, it will pay a conference a much higher fee, and then after that deploy more cadres [and] buy judges, journalists, and it’s only a matter of time before our democracy is a shadow of what it ought to be.”

Maimane said the DA would challenge Ramaphosa over the CR17 campaign funds on Thursday in Parliament when he appears to respond orally to questions in the National Assembly.

“Fellow South Africans, this is a moment in our nation… we must make sure that we destroy the system, we hold people to account [and] ensure that never again will we have a system of patronage repeating itself again,” he said.

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