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More questions for Ramaphosa as CR17 account saga unfolds

DA leader Mmusi Maimane wants National Assembly speaker Thandi Modise to allow him to put an “urgent oral question” to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday.

Ramaphosa is scheduled to appear at a Q&A session — and Maimane wants him to answer questions over alleged payments made by his now-controversial CR17 campaign for the ANC presidency.

In a letter sent to Modise on Wednesday, Maimane wants to be allowed to probe Ramaphosa on the appointment of at least four members of his cabinet who reportedly received payments amounting to millions of rands for their role in his ANC presidential campaign in 2017.

This after it emerged at the weekend that small business minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni got payments to the tune of R5m from the CR17 campaign, which she allegedly used for personal benefit, while deputy minister in the presidency, Thembi Siweya, received R2.3m.

The leaked CR17 bank statements also showed that transport minister Fikile Mbalula and deputy state security minister Zizi Kodwa got R40,000 each, allegedly for their efforts in helping propel Ramaphosa to the ANC presidency and, ultimately, to the Union Buildings.

Maimane also argues that Ramaphosa, by appointing people who received payments from his campaign fund, “may have bought the loyalty of ministers”.

Maimane wants Modise to allow his urgent oral question on Thursday in terms of rule 141 of the National Assembly.

“The payments raise serious questions as to the president’s impartiality in appointing these individuals to his cabinet and may very well infringe on section 83 (b) of the constitution,” said Maimane.

The section cited by Maimane says the president “must uphold, defend respect the constitution as the supreme law of the republic.”

Maimane said Rampahosa needed to use Thursday’s Q&A session to take the country into his confidence on the controversial bank statements.

“The president needs to use his first oral question session for the 6th Parliament to clarify to the people of South Africa and unequivocally state whether these individuals’ payment for work on his campaign is related — in any way whatsoever — to his decision to appoint them as ministers,” he said.

Maimane’s “urgent oral question” is in addition to a similar question from EFF leader Julius Malema on the CR17 campaign, which is already published on Thursday’s question paper.

Malema wants Ramaphosa to provide details on presidency staff and ministers who were involved in CR17 campaign fundraising, and to name the funders he personally met .

Two EFF MPs, Tebogo Mokwele and Nkagisang Mokgosi, resigned from parliament this week after it emerged that they had each received payments of R80,000 from the CR17 campaign.

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