South Africa: Ramaphosa Refuses to Disclose Value of Son's Bosasa Contract

President Cyril Ramaphosa and comedian Trevor Noah

President Cyril Ramaphosa has refused to disclose what his son Andile's Bosasa contract is worth.

Ramaphosa was answering questions in the National Assembly on Thursday.

Last year, Ramaphosa told Parlaiment, in an answer to a question from DA leader Mmusi Maimane, that his son Andile had received money from Bosasa for services rendered in terms of a consultancy contract.

Ramaphosa later backtracked in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, saying the R500 000 payment in question was actually a donation to his ANC presidential campaign, which he had been unaware of.

On Thursday, Maimane stood with a copy of the contract between Ramaphosa junior and controversial facilities management company African Global Operations (AGO) - formerly known as Bosasa - in his hands. This contract was presumably obtained from Andile Ramaphosa through a PAIA application.

"I think we can agree, an example must be set from the top," Maimane said. "Your party has a generally corrupt relationship with Bosasa."

Maimane held up the contract in Ramaphosa's direction and said the value of the contract had been crossed out.

"How much has your son benefitted from Bosasa?" Maimane asked the president.

"It is an easy answer. It is a straightforward answer," Ramaphosa said, calmly.

'There is really nothing to hide'

"Manga-manga!" yelled someone in the DA benches. Ramaphosa laughed. While answering an earlier question he had said: "There is no manga-manga business."

Continuing with his answer to Maimane, Ramaphosa said the Public Protector was busy with the matter, and all the relevant information would be submitted to her by himself, his son and other people.

"The matter is now with the Public Protector," he said.

"There is really nothing to hide."

He said the initial approach was that it is confidential company information, but he said it must be disclosed to the public protector.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen rose on a point of order. He said, according to Rule 146 of the National Assembly, the president was accountable to Parliament, not to the Public Protector.

"The president has given you an answer," Mbete said.

Off microphone, a frowning, animated Maimane said: "He has not!"

Steenhuisen, despite not begin recognised, jumped up and said: "Can we then request that the president send us a letter two days later and changes his answer!"

'The ruling party is brave enough to bare its own chest'

EFF MP Nazier Paulsen asked why ministers like "Nomvula Handbags Mokonyane" and Gwede Mantashe were still in Cabinet, both of whom have also been implicated in testimony about Bosasa before the Zondo commission.

ANC MP Pumzile Mnguni raised a point of order, saying a member's character could only be impugned in a substantive motion.

During Paulsen and Mbete's to and fro, DA MP Terri Stander's voice rang out: "How much, Cyril?" Ramaphosa looked over in her direction.

Paulsen said he would withdraw, "but", and Mbete, apparently unwittingly, allowed him to continue.

He referred to the testimony of "Mr Agrizzi, a friend of yours", and asked Ramaphosa: "Are you serious about clearing the rot in government? Are you taking us for a ride?"

Ramaphosa said yes, they were serious about rooting out corruption.

"That's why we have appointed a commission."

"The ruling party is brave enough to bare its own chest."

President welcomes Trevor Noah

In fact, the commission had been ordered in the remedial action of the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, and the commission was only appointed after former president Jacob Zuma ran out of legal routes to stop it.

"South Africa must come first, rather than us as a political party," Ramaphosa said.

"In this regard, we are not taking the people of South Africa for a ride."

Earlier, at the start of the session, Ramaphosa welcomed South African comedian Trevor Noah in the presidential box of the public gallery, to rousing applause from MPs.

Ramaphosa said the host of the US-based Daily Show was in the country for a break and to do some work. He said he was impressed by Noah's foundation, and Noah promised to make fun of him.

About 10 minutes later, as Ramaphosa got stuck into answering his questions, Noah and his posse left.


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