South Africa's president accused of misleading Parliament

20 Juillet, 2019, 03:25 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Zuma himself brought Ramaphosa back into the political fold in 2012 but their current relationship is hostile

South Africa's ethics watchdog on Friday said President Cyril Ramaphosa misled Parliament previous year over a 500,000 rand ($36,000) donation to his campaign fund from a company facing extensive corruption allegations.

She noted that he misled lawmakers when he denied knowing of the donation in November 2018.

"The allegation that there is an improper relationship between President Ramaphosa and his family on the one side, and the company African Global Operations (AGO/Bosasa) on the other side, due to the nature of the R500,000 payment passing through several intermediaries, instead of a straight donation towards the CR17 campaign, thus raising suspicion of money laundering, has merit".

Mkhwebane, who investigates allegations of wrongdoing by state officials, told reporters that Ramaphosa had violated the constitution and breached the executive code of ethics by telling parliament he did not know his son was involved in the donation. The question was posed to him by Musi Maimane, leader of the opposition Democratic Alliance. He subsequently admitted that the money was meant to support his campaign to replace his boss Jacob Zuma as leader of the ANC. Mkhwebane's office has said that some of the criticism is aimed at undermining her investigations. "Although President Ramaphosa may have been justified to correct the earlier statement on erroneous or incomplete information at his disposal, he indeed misled parliament".

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"He deliberately misled Parliament, in that he should have allowed himself sufficient time to research on a well informed response", she said at a press conference in Pretoria.

"I therefore find that President Ramaphosa's conduct. although ostensibly in good faith, to be inconsistent with his office".

The ruling deals a blow to Ramaphosa, who has pledged to tackle deep-rooted corruption and make state-owned enterprises more efficient in order to attract investment and boost the economy.

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