Leaked emails divulge who donated to Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign

By Doug Mattushek - 03 August 2019Views : 17285

Leaked emails from the crux of President Cyril Ramaphosa's victorious 2017 ANC presidential campaign divulged the names of some of his potential donors.

News24 who are in possession of several emails from inside the Ramaphosa campain which have been circulated among his political opponents and by anti-Ramaphosa accounts on Twitter in recent days.

The emails which were referenced in Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report regarding a R500 000 donation to the CR17 campaign from controversial Bosassa CEO Gavin Watson.

Mkhwebane used a complaint of suspected money laundering with the Watson donation to gain access to the C17 campaign's bank statements. In her report, she warned that Ramaphosa may have been captured by his private donors. 

She identified donations totalling almost R200m that went into the campaign, including three large amounts from the same donor.

Having found that Ramaphosa breached his oath of office by misleading Parliament about the source of the R500 000 and has referred the alleged money laundering allegations to the National Prosecuting Authority.

She relied on the emails to find that Ramaphosa was involved in the fundraising efforts of the campaign.

The emails show:

  • Pravin Gordhan the Public Enterprises Minister played a central role in raising funds for Ramaphosa.
  • The president was indeed consulted by the managers of his campaign regarding plans to approach several donor, including a Greek shipping tycoon (Tony Georgiades) with links to the arms deal and a politically connected "socialite" previously suspected of smugglinggold out of the country.
  • Although the CR17 campaign took meausures to ensure their communications remained secure, the emails were seemingly obtained via clandestine methods.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa takes Public Protector report to judicial review

The leak includes two emails from Ramaphosa's long-time assistant and CR17 campaign manager Donne Nicol to Ramaphosa and an email from Nicol's personal assistant to another manager of the CR17 campaign, Marion Sparg, are included in the leak.

A note typed by Ramaphosa, to what is believed to be his banker, instructing the transfer of R20m from a Money Market account (believed to be Ramaphosa's) to an account belonging to the Ria Tenda Trust. A trust used as part of campaign's financial machinery.

It is to be understod that this relates to a loan Ramaphosa made to the campaign. Whilst members of the CR17 campaign expressed their concerns regarding how the emails were obtained, but they did not dispute their authenticity.

Donors revealed include a London group including Martin Moshal, Macsteel founder Eric Samson, Paul Ekon a millionaire miner who was once accused(but never charged) of smuggling millions of rands of gold out of the country. David Nogbeni, former Ramaphosa-owned Shanduka CEO and Kojo Mills, co-founder of Shanduka and now based in the US.

Whilst it is not clear any of the individuals were actuall approahed for donations, but the emails are clear that the president was asked permission for them to be contacted.