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No wrongdoing, no criminality in CR17 campaign - Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa said those who contributed to his CR17 campaign did so out of a genuine concern for the country's future and that those involved were exercising their rights.

President Cyril Ramaphosa at the ANC celebrations outside Luthuli House on 12 May 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa said his African National Congress (ANC) presidential campaign was above board and involved no criminality or abuse of public resources.

Ramaphosa was responding to a challenge from Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema to give details of people in his office and in Cabinet who helped raise money – as well as the names of potential donors he met at dinners organised by those leading the campaign.

Ramaphosa has also told the house that money that was given to two former members of the EFF central command, who have since also resigned from Parliament, was paid because they needed help and had no strings attached.

He said those who contributed to his CR17 campaign did so out of a genuine concern for South Africa’s future and that those involved were exercising their democratic and constitutional rights and owe no apology for what they did.

“There was no– let me repeat, no wrongdoing, no criminality and no abuse of public funds or resources.”

Ramaphosa said there was no provision in the law to disclose internal party leadership contests and the matter is now for the courts to decide, where he is challenging the Public Protector’s findings on a R500,000 million donation from Bosasa.

“I’m sure Malema would agree it’s unreasonable and potentially prejudicial to disclose such information until such time as all parties and candidates are held to the same standards of transparency.”

He says he helped out the two EFF members who have since resigned their leadership positions with funds in the spirit of generosity because they faced difficulties and expected nothing in return.

WATCH: President answers questions in the National Assembly

INTERNAL CONTESTS

President Ramaphosa has challenged lawmakers to consider whether it’s necessary for funding of internal party contests to be disclosed and regulated.

The president hit the ball back into the court of the opposition benches, saying the challenge offers them an opportunity to address funding for internal party contestations.

“It is this house that must come up with whatever solutions, do we want internal political party contests [to be disclosed] - from the governing party to right through to the smallest party that is represented here – because lets accept it, in political parties there are contestations.”

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