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Ramaphosa: CR17 campaign funding was legitimate and above board

The president faced a barrage of opposition questions during his first oral reply session of the sixth Parliament on Thursday, centred on the so-called CR17 campaign and donations to his party by corruption-accused company Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations.

FILE: South Africa's president Cyril Ramaphosa gestures as he delivers a speech after being elected by the Members of Parliament, during his swearing-in ceremony at the Parliament in Cape Town on 15 February 2018. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has defended his ANC presidential campaign funding as legitimate and above board.

He added that a sinister agenda was behind the leaks of information relating to the saga.

He faced a barrage of opposition questions during his first oral reply session of the sixth Parliament on Thursday, centred on the so-called CR17 campaign and donations to his party by corruption-accused company Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations.

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane confronted Ramaphosa with a 2014 letter from then African National Congress (ANC) treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize, thanking Bosasa for R3 million.

The opposition leader held up a letter from 2014, when general elections were pending, and Jacob Zuma was still in power.

“Will you undertake today to ensure that the ANC repays to the fiscus all the money received from Bosasa for the past 15 years as those monies were derived from the proceeds of corruption?”

Ramaphosa easily deflected, asking for a copy and promising to come back to Maimane, who wanted a response within 14 days.

On questions about his ANC presidential campaign, Ramaphosa insisted it was above board, that there was no wrongdoing and that leaks about it were aimed at blocking his efforts to rebuild the party and the country.

“Others have a more sinister agenda, using leaked information selectively to undermine the positive changes that have been brought about in our country since the [ANC’s] 54th national conference.”

Ramaphosa refused to name donors, saying no law required this but suggested that regulation of internal party campaign funding might be the way to go.

WATCH: Ramaphosa on CR17: There was no wrongdoing, no criminality