Can Bosasa's payment impact the 2019 elections?


The extent to which Bosasa's likely influence after a payout to Cyril Ramaphosa's 2017 ANC presidential campaign remains a key issue that could affect voters in the 2019 election, according to one analyst.

"Assuming it's the truth [that Ramaphosa had not personal knowledge of the donation], so he did not know and the donors were unable to call back favors from him personally, "said Ivor Sarakinsky, who is an associate professor at the University of Witwatersrand School of Governance.

"… But the campaign that people knew and that means there is a possibility that donors can raise issues … with a penchant for some kind of return."

As such, attempting to isolate Ramaphosa does not mean that this will prevent the sale of influence … "he said.

This week, President Cyril Ramaphosa stepped back in a response he gave to the National Assembly eleven days ago with a $ 500,000 payment from Bosasa CEO Gavin Watson allegedly for the benefit of his son, Andile.


The October 2017 payment was in fact a donation to the ANC presidential campaign, which Ramaphosa claimed was made without his knowledge.

In a statement released over the weekend, the former management team of CR17 announced it would return the donation, in addition to auditing its donor list.

READ: The Ramaphosa campaign team says they will return Bosasa's money

On the one hand, Sarakinsky said the campaign team's announcement that money would be returned to donors was a "good start to rebuilding trust."

On the other hand, this incident could exacerbate current public dissatisfaction with the country's current political landscape.

"The result is that the audience is just watching this closely; they are not seeing a clear distinction in parties, leading to more public cynicism and mistrust. "

Questions of attendance at the polls

Going into the national elections of 2019, Sarakinsky postulated that he "closely monitor voter turnout" – suggesting that if there were a decline, that would indicate the current doubts of the South Africans.

On Friday, the presidency issued a statement saying that Ramaphosa had now written to the president of the National Assembly to change his response according to the revelation that the money was in fact a campaign donation.

READ: Ramaphosa corrects his response from the National Assembly on his son's relations with Bosasa

"The problem is not that he writes a letter to the speaker; it's a question of whether he's telling the truth, "Sarakinsky said.

In addition, Sarakinsky suggested that the role of AD, especially with respect to its leader Mmusi Maimane, in bringing the issue to the surface had several dimensions for it.

"The Maimane classifications compared to Ramaphosa are terrible … The only way that Maimane can establish [himself] is to attack and undermine Ramaphosa. "

In this context, "this Bosasa issue is a golden gift," added Sarakinsky.

Sarakinsky said he believed it was more likely that information on the donation would be given to the DA of an ANC faction opposed to Ramaphosa.

"My feeling is that it was leaked from the ANC using DA to have a serious chance at Ramaphosa."

If this scenario was correct, it suggested that factionalism within the ruling party was "getting stronger; is intensifying, "he added.

Hypocrisy within the DA

He also proposed, there was a "chronic outbreak of hypocrisy" in the position of the prosecutor in relation to this situation.

Sarakinsky pointed out that during the 2015 race to establish the DA leader, another candidate, Wilmot James, made public the funding of his campaign.

"He challenged Maimane to the other candidate to do the same. Both refused in blank.

At the time, Maimane responded to the challenge by saying that he had complied with all internal donor protocols, and the call for public exposure was a way for James to get media coverage.

However, "we still do not know who financed the campaign and the DA [as a whole]said Sarakinsky on Sunday.

Certainly, "what is good for the goose is good for the goose," reflected the political commentator.

Suspicious payment

Previously, Ramaphosa was asked about Watson's payment to his son Andile Ramaphosa by Maimane during the questions in the National Assembly on November 6.

Ramaphosa told the National Assembly that he had asked his son about the payment and that he had established that it was for financial advisory services that his son had provided.

At that time, Andile denied that the specific payment never came to him.

READ: DA requests research on Ramaphosa family, Bosasa relation

Bosasa, now called the African Global Operation, was hit by allegations of corruption related to government bids.

Maimane said Sunday that he was writing to the president to ask him to implement an investigation into the whole saga, as it involved Ramaphosa and his family.


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