African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa says he regrets that the party delayed investigating allegations of state capture through parliament’s committees in 2016, but he denies that this was due to deliberate resistance.

Testifying on his second day at the State Capture Commission as President of the ANC, Ramaphosa dealt with issues relating to political party funding, including his CR17 campaign, party discipline as well as efforts by the party to renew itself.

Ramaphosa has defended the need for Members of Parliament to toe the line, saying their seat is by virtue of the party’s ticket.

He says only in exceptional cases should members rely on their conscience. He points out the tension that exists in the constitutional framework on the matter.

Summary of ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa’s testimony at the State Capture Inquiry.

Political Funding

Dealing with the issue of his ANC presidential campaign, Ramaphosa reiterated that the CR17 fund managers did not tell him who gave the campaign money as they did not want him to be beholden to donors.

He denied reports that the campaign raised R1 billion which was used for buying votes from delegates attending the ANC’s National Conference in December 2017.

“It was said a billion rands was raised. It was never a billion rands. I am told that the money that was raised was some R300 million, but never a billion or so. I don’t know the facts because they literally kept it away from me. There is a legend that says the money was used to buy votes. Far from it!¬† I said to my comrades right from the beginning I never want to be part of a campaign that is going to descend into all these deviant types of behaviours that we talk about in the ANC-like vote-buying.”

State Capture Inquiry | Ramaphosa on the party’s delay in investing the Gupta family

The president went on to say that with increasing negative media coverage of the Gupta family and Bosasa, both of which made donations towards the ANC, and its election campaigns, should have been probed sooner.

In dealing with how to rid the party of fraud and corruption, Ramaphosa says the leadership has the will and the means to do so. He explains what has been the challenge.

“Chairperson the difficulty has always been the person is charged then at the same time they are disciplined they stand trial and the disciplinary process has been done and concluded and they are found not guilty in court what do you then do you go back so for instance if the charge was theft in the ANC and the charge is theft in the state what then do you do when they are found not guilty,” says Ramaphosa.

The ANC now requires those facing serious charges to step aside, clear their names and present themselves at the party’s Integrity Committee. Ramaphosa has ended his testimony as Head of the ANC. He will appear to give evidence as Head of State at the end of May.

 

Video: State Capture Inquiry | Commission hears evidence from the President of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa

Video: State Capture Inquiry | Commission hears evidence from the President of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa 

Video: State Capture Inquiry | President of the ANC, Cyril Ramaphosa testifies: Day 2 Part 2