The Economic Freedom Fighters’ (EFF) application to have President Cyril Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign funding documents revealed, is expected to be heard in the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.
Ramaphosa’s campaign bid for the African National Congress (ANC) leadership back in 2017 generated R1 billion rand and the secrecy surrounding who exactly donated, has prompted heavy criticism towards the president. The controversy surrounding his CR17 campaign funding, is also at the heart of a heated court battle with Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane.
“We are going to court to officially release those documents so that we can know who has funded Cyril Ramaphosa to buy the ANC conference and the presidency of the ANC so that he can buy the presidency of the country. And what is the relationship of those people that funded Cyril Ramaphosa with current state procurement?,” EFF Deputy President Floyd Shivambu said in an interview with Newzroom Afrika.
CR17 campaign funding: Why the mystery?
The High Court in Pretoria reviewed and set aside Mkhwebane’s report into President Cyril Ramaphosa, which had found that he deliberately misled Parliament about a donation towards his CR17 campaign. The court found that Mkhwebane did not have jurisdiction to investigate the president’s campaign funding records. However the public protector did not take the matter lying down and eventually wound up in the Constitutional Court, which has since reserved judgement.
Ramaphosa has since said he was willing to come completely clean about who exactly funded his bid to be ANC president. The controversy surrounding Ramaphosa’s CR17 campaign funding has undoubtedly been a pebble in his shoe and now his detractors are demanding that the president release all documents, if he really has nothing to hide.
The CR17 campaign saga has also been a bone of contention within the ANC, even with Ramaphosa’s predecessor, Jacob Zuma, questioning why he refuses to disclose who donated to him.
Zuma had issued a fiery letter, in which he implied that the judges who had presided over the matter, helped him conceal his records, out of their own interests.
“We sit with some Judges who have assisted the incumbent President, Mr. Ramaphosa, to hide from society what on the face of it seem to be bribes obtained in order to win an internal ANC election. We sit with some judges who sealed those records simply because it will reveal that some of them, while serving in our courts, have had their hands filled with 30 pieces of silver,” Zuma said at the time.