The biggest scandal of Cyril’s presidency has taken on another dimension this week:His son Andile Ramaphosa confirmed he was cutting ties with a business that tried to secure a R400 million kickback from an Eskom loan.
Jianbao Chen is the chairman of Chinese company Huarong Energy Africa. They were implicated in state capture last month, as a former procurement officer revealed how close they came to securing a mammoth R25bn contract.
Andile Ramaphosa and Eskom: What’s the connection?
Despite the best efforts of Anoj Singh, the shady agreement was never seen through to completion. Ramaphosa Jnr and Chen had previously formed a partnership to buy Mercantile Bank, which would have seen Andile put in 13% as his Chinese business partner assumed an 87% majority share.
But, in a media statement issued on Monday, Andile Ramaphosa claims he backed away from the deal once he learned about Huarong Energy’s link to Eskom, and the money they were ready to receive.
“I’ve hired a law firm to assist with the review process which will carry out due diligence investigations on all my previous and current business partnerships and to devise a risk management framework going forward.”
What the DA are demanding
However, his forthright admission is not nearly enough to pacify those in the DA. Mmusi Maimane has reacted with fury to the latest developments, which have done very little to help the younger Ramaphosa clean up his image.
For the sins of the son, the opposition leader believes that Cyril should also face the music. Mamaine issued a statement on Tuesday, confirming that he had written to the Secretary of Cabinet, Dr Cassius Lubisi, requesting to view the President’s declaration of interests since his election in February 2018.
Cyril Ramaphosa and the “sins of the son”
The Executive Ethics Code requires the President to disclose all financial interests to Dr Lubisi once a year. This includes all shares and interests in corporate companies, sponsorships, gifts and donations, hospitality, pension, and foreign travel. Maimane believes that it also applies to deals involving the president’s family.
Andile Ramaphosa has received at least R2 million from corrupt security services company, Bosasa. An alleged R500 000 of that was part of a “campaign donation” to help Cyril win the ANC leadership contest. The DA’s frontman suggests that the whole family could now be in violation of Parliament’s Executive Ethics Code:
“If the President has failed to disclose any conflict of interest as it relates to his son, then the Public Protector must investigate whether he has breached the Executive Ethics Act.”
“From Bosasa to Eskom loan deals, Andile Ramaphosa is unduly benefitting due to the fact that his father happens to be the President. This is no different to former President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane, and his dodgy business dealings that were facilitated by his father’s political connections.”