The DA says there is a link between President Cyril Ramaphosa’s R500,000 Bosasa donation and state capture.
In a statement released on Tuesday, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said the party had confirmed that a law firm with links to the Guptas had been administering the “slush fund” from which R500,000 reached Ramaphosa’s campaign team last year when he was running for ANC president.
“We can today confirm that Mr Jeffrey Afriat, a director at EFG, the law firm which administered this trust account, served as one of three directors of Trillian Capital, a primary vehicle used by the Guptas to capture the state and loot billions of rands of public money.”
Maimane said Afriat served as director during 2016 alongside Eric Wood “at the apex of state capture and theft of public money by the Guptas and the ANC”.
Afriat was cited twice in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report, Maimane said. Afriat resigned as Trillian director shortly before the Budlender inquiry into Trillian was launched, he said.
“President Ramaphosa is now left with little choice but to heed my call and immediately appoint a full-scale independent inquiry – headed by a retired judge to be selected by the chief justice – to fully investigate the Bosasa scandal, which now involves the president and his family. I will today formally write to President Ramaphosa, calling for this inquiry to be established without delay.
“We cannot have double standards when it comes to bribery and corruption particularly not when it involves the highest office of the country. The president’s links to Bosasa including all payments made to him, to the ANC and to his son, whether directly or through shell companies, third parties or trust accounts must be investigated in detail.”
Maimane said a trust account named “efg2”, which he claims was administered by law firm Edelstein, Farber and Grobler was the account into which the R500,000 Bosasa donation was funnelled, “as admitted by the president in his letter to the speaker of parliament.”
Maimane was the one who originally brought attention to the Bosasa payment, with a question to Ramaphosa in parliament this month.
Ramaphosa initially stated the money was a payment to his son Andile for consultancy work, but later issued a correction, claiming he learnt that the money was made on behalf of Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson into a trust account that was used to fund his election campaign.
Ramaphosa said he had been unaware of the donation when he had responded to Maimane’s question.
African Global Operations, the new iteration of Bosasa, has since tried to distance itself from the donation, claiming it was made by Watson in his personal capacity.