‘Criminal charge’ filed against Ramaphosa – as Cyril denies tender fraud claims

The office of President Cyril Ramaphosa has come out all guns blazing this weekend, after The Star reported that the 68-year-old may be implicated in a fraudulent tender – carried out in the Ace Magashule-friendly province of Free State.

Ramaphosa ‘allegedly implicated’ in Shanduka tender fraud

A statement published by Ramaphosa and his team flat-out rejects claims made by the publication, and slams the ‘glaring inaccuracies’ within the report. The allegations are linked to the Shanduka Group – previously owned by the ANC leader.

“The Presidency has noted recent reports in The Star newspaper related to a complaint of corruption against President Cyril Ramaphosa that has been reportedly been made at the Sandton police station.”
 
“According to the newspaper, the complaint relates to a ‘dubious tender’ given by the Free State Department of Education to the President’s former company for the construction of a school. While the newspaper report is not clear on the details of the complaint, the report contains glaring inaccuracies and a clear misrepresentation of facts.” | Cyril Ramaphosa

Who are Shanduka?

The Shanduka Group is a South African investment holding company that has interests in extractive resources, telecommunications, food and beverage, property, financial services, energy, and industrial sectors. It was founded by President Ramaphosa in 2002, and it is no stranger to the courting of controversy.

In November 2017, Shanduka was indicted in the Paradise Papers – as one of the few South African companies allegedly working with Investec to dodge taxes on profits. The bulk of the suspicious activity surrounds a major made energy deal brokered in Mozambique, which saw money sent offshore to Mauritius. Ramaphosa has denied any wrongdoing.

Why a criminal charge has been filed against Cyril Ramaphosa

Prior to that, the Shanduka Foundation – also known as the Cyril Ramaphosa foundation – committed R100 million to a school development project in the Free State alongside Kagiso Trust (which also made a R100 million commitment) and the Free State Department of Education. However, it is THIS deal that’s now kicking up a fuss…

A Reserve Bank shareholder has opened up a criminal case against the president, after visiting Sandton Police Station this weekend. This could likely lead to the Free State branch of the ANC – who are staunch supporters of Ace Magashule – also pressing charges against the head of state on Monday. It is claimed that Cyril flouted the tender process for this school.

President fights back in tender row

Ramaphosa allegedly granted the construction of a project to a company he had ties with. He apparently failed to follow the letter of law, with The Star insisting that an on-site library and an administrative block were also funded ‘illegally’.

The official line from the Presidency is this: Neither Ramaphosa nor any companies in which he held interests has ever received any benefit from school construction in the Free State or anywhere else in the country. As this story develops over the next few days, we will bring you all the latest on any other ‘criminal charges’ that may be filed against the president.

  • You can read the full statement from Ramaphosa’s office here:

“Shanduka Group never received a tender for the construction of any schools in the Free State. Shanduka did not operate in the construction industry. The nature of Shanduka’s investments and operations are publicly available.”

“President Ramaphosa was neither a director nor a shareholder in Shanduka Group in 2015, at the time he was alleged to have ‘persuaded’ the provincial department to award the non-existent contract. He exited the business in November 2014.”

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Presh JM Reporter

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