South Africa: How Ramaphosa's Campaign Spent R400-Million - and Why It Matters

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It's a fairly standard cost, says an official, explaining that the ANC now runs big-bucks American-style campaigns for internal elections. 'The reason people are shocked is that this is the first time it's been into the light of day,' a campaigner told Daily Maverick. Others say it is an insight into how to buy a president in South Africa.

Daily Maverick has gained first-hand insight into how President Cyril Ramaphosa built his almost half-a-billion-rand campaign to become ANC president and how the money was spent to win the top spot at the party's elective conference at Nasrec in Johannesburg in December 2017.

"The biggest nonsense is that we had R1-billion. In our dreams," said a campaigner who would speak only on condition of anonymity. "... We spent about R275-million and we were left with considerable debt for which we still had to fundraise."

In July 2019, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane found that Ramaphosa had benefited personally from the campaign funding. Her remedial action was that National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise should ensure that he declared the benefit in Parliament's registry of interests; she also found that the funds might indicate money-laundering. Modise is taking legal advice and Ramaphosa has won...

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