IOL 12 August 2019
Johannesburg – The chief executive of a financial services company has come out in defence of donations made to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign ahead of the ANC’s elective conference in 2017.
On Sunday, Magda Wierzycka, co-founder and boss of Sygnia, took to Twitter to defend donations made by various persons and organisations to the campaign in question.
“Everyone who contributed did so to stop corruption, reduce poverty and save South Africa from Zuma, the Guptas, etc. No one expected anything in return other than a well-run country (excl Bosasa),” Wierzycka said.
Absa spokesperson Pumza Macanda said they noted with concern the report in the Sunday Independent where “Absa Nation Building” was listed as a donor to the CR17 campaign.
“As a policy, Absa does not make donations to political parties or politicians. Consequently, Absa did not donate to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s presidential campaign in 2017 or any other campaign of that nature,” Macanda said.
Among the donors named were billionaire Nicky Oppenheimer’s family, whose Fireblade Aviation was granted permission to use a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport after launching a court case against the Home Affairs Department.
Maria Ramos, former Absa chief executive and now Public Investment Corporation board member, was also named alongside Absa Nation Building and Eskom board member Sifiso Dabengwa, Goldman Sachs Southern Africa chief executive Colin Coleman and other financial services and mining companies.
Politicians who reportedly received payments included former ANC Free State MEC Mxolisi Dukwana, Enoch Godongwana, Small Business Development Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni and Deputy Minister in the Presidency Thembi Siweya, among others.
The leaks on CR17 campaign finances surfaced as Ramaphosa this past week requested the courts to block certain information contained in the record of the Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s investigation into allegations against him from being made public.
Political analyst Xolani Dube said the leaked emails and financial statements from the CR17 campaign have shown how Ramaphosa has dispensed patronage that continued within the governing party.
“It clearly indicates the ANC is serving at the behest of certain people, not South Africans,” he said.
Dube said there was nothing surprising about the donations and those who received payments.
“We know where he comes from. We know who mentored and moulded him. It confirms the long historical assumption that Ramaphosa was moulded to serve the mineral energy sector,” he said.
Dube said it was interesting that after hardly 100 days, worms were tumbling out of Ramaphosa’s office.
“It tells us that the ANC has nothing to do with merit. It is about who you served. He has entrenched factionalism.
“He, Cyril, has cemented the rot in the ANC. He can’t be judged through the prism of Jacob Zuma. We were told that he is a different person, but we know now that he is not.”
In a series of tweets, EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said: “What the #RamaphosaLeaks demonstrate is a conflicted president with ZERO integrity! Period!”
Ndlozi said Ramaphosa’s path to power was paved with a billion rand.
“If there was a sign of the degeneration of ANC; this is it,” he said.