President clarifies response to a parliamentary question

Saturday, November 17, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa has submitted to the Speaker of the National Assembly a correction to a response he recently gave to a supplementary question in the house on a payment made to his son, Andile Ramaphosa.

In his correction, President Ramaphosa clarifies that the payment made was to raise funds for a campaign established to support his candidature for the presidency of the ruling party.

“I have been told that the payment to which the leader of the opposition referred was made on behalf of Mr Gavin Watson into a trust account that was used to raise funds for a campaign established to support my candidature for the presidency of the African National Congress,” said the President in a statement on Friday.

The President said the donation was made without his knowledge and he was unaware of the existence of the donation at the time that he answered the question in the National Assembly.

This emerged in a letter dated 14 November 2018 by the President Ramaphosa to the speaker, in which the President says he inadvertently provided incorrect information in a reply to a supplementary question.

Following the President’s response to question 19 on VBS Mutual Bank, DA Leader Mmusi Maimane asked the President about a payment that had been made on behalf of a Gavin Watson to Andile Ramaphosa.

The President indicated to the speaker that his reply to this supplementary question was based on information that was at his disposal at the time, regarding a business relationship between Andile Ramaphosa’s company and another firm, African Global Operations.

The President confirmed to the speaker that Andile Ramaphosa’s company has a contract with African Global Operations for the provision of consultancy services to the latter in a number of African countries other than South Africa.

South Africa is specifically excluded to avoid a potential conflict of interest.

In the letter to the Speaker, the President states that following the question and answer session in the National Assembly, he sought to get more information regarding this matter.

“I have been subsequently informed that the payment referred to in the supplementary question by the Leader of Opposition does not relate to that contract.

“I thought it best to furnish this information to clear any confusion.”

The President has since requested the Speaker to share his updated response with members of the National Assembly. –