• Tue. Sep 27th, 2022

President Cyril Ramaphosa has raised the ire of the ANC’s integrity commission by seemingly ducking it for 18 months, and for insisting on bringing along a legal advisor.

Dec 23, 2020
  • The ANC’s integrity commission has called out President Cyril Ramaphosa for ducking its request for him to appear before it.
  • Ramaphosa met with the commission in November and it finalised its report on 21 December.
  • The commission lambasted Ramaphosa for seeking to meet with it while armed with his lawyers.

President Cyril Ramaphosa has raised the ire of the ANC’s integrity commission (IC) by seemingly ducking it for 18 months, and for insisting on bringing along a legal advisor.
In a report written by committee chairperson George Mashamba, which News24 has seen, the body of ANC elders said it was disappointed that when he finally appeared before them on 19 November, the president did not want to discuss CR17 campaign funds – the basis for his appearance before the committee – until the legal side of the matter was finalised.  
Despite this annoyance, the integrity commission did not make an adverse finding against him in relation to the accusation that he and his campaign used money to buy votes at the ANC’s 2017 national elective conference at Nasrec.
“…with regard to the buying of votes subsequent to the 2017 conference, the IC strongly recommends that 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 report on Ramaphosa was dated 21 December and was submitted to the secretary-general’s office this week.
“The IC pursued the matter of meeting with the president and requested, over an 18-month period, to meet with the president several times, both verbally and in writing. It did not sit well with the IC that the president, especially, but also the officials, continually referred publicly to the importance of the IC and the work that was being done, but in reality there was little to no interaction.” 
During a fierce national executive committee (NEC) meeting in August, Ramaphosa indicated that he would subject himself to the commission.
This was after NEC member Tony Yengeni called for Ramaphosa to lead by example and step aside due to allegations of vote buying at the watershed 2017 Nasrec conference.
Mashamba said Ramaphosa’s initial request to meet with the commission, armed with legal representation, was rejected.
“To insist that the legal process must conclude to avoid appearing before the IC on the basis that matters are before the courts distorts the role of the IC, undermines the work of the IC and presents an unnecessary delay to the work of the IC,” Mashamba added.
He said Ramaphosa expressed the wish to deal with the CR17 campaign, its nature, organisation and governance.
However, the commission wanted to focus on the principle of the use of money in individual leadership campaigns within the organisation going forward.
READ  ‘Cyril appeared before integrity commission’
The CR17 campaign, which was established to fund his bid for the ANC presidency, became a point of contention. Numerous political leaders questioned the excessive use of money at ANC conferences. 
Although the phenomenon is not new, names of donors to Ramaphosa’s campaign caused controversy when it was revealed in leaked emails. 
The report on Ramaphosa comes a week after the committee issued a report on party secretary-general, Ace Magashule, where they recommended that he should step aside. 
Magashule faces 21 counts of corruption, fraud and money laundering related to a beleaguered asbestos project.
In its scathing recommendation against Magashule, the IC said the party’s conference decisions must apply “without fear or favour”.
While the IC lambasted Ramaphosa for taking his time to appear before it, it called its engagement honest, frank and productive, with no adverse findings made against the president. 
The seven-page report details how Ramaphosa came armed with a 69-page presentation on matters related to fundraising; the syllabus of the political education school; judicial and political morality; the legitimacy of the forthcoming NGC and national conference, given the doubtful legitimacy of some ANC branches and other structures; perceived lack of commitment by the leadership to the promise of renewal of the ANC; refusal to comply with the conference resolution to step aside in the face of criminal charges; lack of consequence management in the party; the youth league and ANC leaders, as well as their families and friends doing business with government. 
Ramaphosa noted lessons he learnt from the Nasrec conference, saying that once an ANC conference is done, all campaign structures should be dismantled and the financial accounting of all campaigns and each candidate should account to the integrity committee. He also said ANC internal campaign structures should abide by tax laws and any other applicable legislation.
READ MORE  CR17 judgment: Campaign funding will be discussed at ANC’s national general council, says Duarte
The president added that there should be a very clear commitment on the matter of the buying of votes and that proper practices from previous conferences, stemming from the resolutions adopted, should be developed into clear rules. 
In March, the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria delivered a scathing and damaging judgment against Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s findings and remedial action in her investigation into Ramaphosa’s ANC presidential campaign donations.
A full Bench set aside her findings, stating that she had acted unlawfully, recklessly and without jurisdiction to investigate the president’s party campaign.The court ruled that Mkhwebane’s findings included material errors in law. Furthermore, it found she did not have jurisdiction to investigate the funding of the CR17 campaign.The report followed an investigation by Mkhwebane which was initiated after two complaints from opposition party leaders – former DA leader Mmusi Maimane and EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu.
The matter was taken to the Constitutional Court in November where Ramaphosa’s legal team argued that Mkhwebane’s efforts to appeal the High Court judgment should be dismissed.
A judgment from the apex court has not yet been delivered.