First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

Ramaphosa to appear before ANC’s Integrity Commission...

South Africa

SPIES R US

Ramaphosa to appear before ANC’s Integrity Commission, again

President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: Gallo Images / Darren Stewart)

The President has appeared in front of the Integrity Commission before — in 2020 — and it also involved large sums of money, in the form of funds for his 2017 presidential campaign when detractors accused him of vote-buying.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is set to appear before the ANC’s Integrity Commission after he volunteered to explain allegations that he had covered up the theft of a large sum of money from his farm in Limpopo. 

Ramaphosa has appeared in front of the commission before — in 2020 — and it also involved large sums of money, in the form of funds for his 2017 presidential campaign when detractors accused him of vote-buying. 

The ANC’s National Working Committee (NWC) said in a statement issued by spokesperson Pule Mabe on Monday night that it “welcomed and commended the decision by the President to voluntarily present himself to the ANC Integrity Commission in line with ANC policy”. 

It also confirmed that the NWC had discussed the issue during its scheduled meeting on Monday afternoon and that officials briefed the NWC “regarding media reports on charges laid by Mr Arthur Fraser against President Cyril Ramaphosa”. 

According to the statement, the officials “undertook to process the matter expeditiously and to report to the next NWC”. The matter will be deliberated further there.

Rajesh and Atul Gupta arrested in Dubai – but don’t expect them in SA too soon

Eyewitness News (EWN) reported that Ramaphosa told the meeting that he had already contacted the Integrity Commission, after fellow NWC member Tony Yengeni put the matter on the agenda minutes into the meeting.

Yengeni reportedly called on Ramaphosa to step aside to allow space for investigations to continue without any perceptions of interference. He also wants Ramaphosa to appear before Parliament’s ethics committee. 

Yengeni’s view reportedly did not enjoy the support of the majority of the NWC.  

Fraser, a former spy chief who until recently served as prisons head, last week opened a case at the Rosebank police station, accusing Ramaphosa of breaching the Prevention of Organised Crime Act by allegedly not reporting the theft of what Fraser said was around $4-million on his farm Phala Phala in February 2020. 

Ramaphosa has denied any criminal wrongdoing and told the ANC’s Limpopo conference that he hadn’t stolen any taxpayers’ money. He said the money was from the proceeds of the sale of animals. 

All indications are that Ramaphosa still enjoys support from his backers in the party. His lobbyists told Daily Maverick that they would continue supporting him, with some saying he had done nothing wrong, while others said if there was any criminal wrongdoing, Ramaphosa was still better than any of the other options. 

His detractors, such as Yengeni and Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, have reportedly accused ANC officials of not acting with sufficient urgency on the matter after Fraser made the charges public towards the end of last week.

According to TimesLIVE, the officials did not present a report to the NWC during their afternoon meeting, after they met Ramaphosa in the morning. 

Party Chairperson Gwede Mantashe reportedly defended Ramaphosa when Sisulu questioned him about not presenting a report with recommendations as to what should happen to the President. 

Ramaphosa’s intended appearance before the Integrity Commission is one of the issues that was to have been added to the report. International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor, who is not a detractor of Ramaphosa, also called for the report to be tabled as soon as possible.

Cooperative Governance Minister Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, according to EWN, raised concerns over the reputational damage that could be caused to the ANC and the government by continued rumours about the incident. Head of the Presidency in the ANC, Sibongile Besani, defended Ramaphosa during an interview with Newzroom Africa when he blamed people with political motives for the allegations. 

“There seems to be a scripted attack on the integrity of the man who is leading a collective who is fighting and dealing with anything that is malfeasance in the ranks of the ANC,” he said.

Besani implied that there were attempts by those who had been implicated in corruption to stop Ramaphosa.

The final report of the State Capture commission is expected to be released in mid-June.  

Ramaphosa was cleared after his first appearance before the Integrity Commission in 2020, but he was slammed by the commission for apparently avoiding it for 18 months and for insisting on bringing along a legal representative.

The complaint was that he used money to buy votes at the ANC’s 2017 elective conference, but the committee ultimately said it didn’t have enough proof. 

“If any comrade has irrefutable evidence of this, it must be brought to the notice of the disciplinary committee as a matter of urgency.”

The Integrity Commission has the power to make recommendations to the ANC’s National Executive Committee. The party’s rules currently state that any ANC member or leader charged with a crime should step aside to allow for the process to run its course.  DM

Gallery

Comments - share your knowledge and experience

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or sign in if you are already an Insider.

Everybody has an opinion but not everyone has the knowledge and the experience to contribute meaningfully to a discussion. That’s what we want from our members. Help us learn with your expertise and insights on articles that we publish. We encourage different, respectful viewpoints to further our understanding of the world. View our comments policy here.

All Comments 3

  • Looks dodgy ……… why bother with the integrity committee …….. you just quote the case number and that’s the end of the problem………. looks like the president failed to correctly report crime to law enforcement and if that is the reason what is his motivation?

  • This Radical Economic Termination faction should all be stood against a wall and shot for treason. To them, South Africa is a personal ATM and ****** the rest. Had they cared just even a little bit, we would still have had a reasonable level of function and progress.

  • Ramaphosa’s credibility also seriously questioned in my submission to sec Sec 194 Public Protector issue AND interlocutory action launched in ICC (Hague).
    TERRY THEUNISSEN

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted