By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
The African National Congress (ANC) Integrity Commission has finally met with President Cyril Ramaphosa. The Commission requested a meeting with the President in 2018 when the issue of BOSASA and his CR17 Campaign funds were raised.
In a report dated December 21, chairperson George Mashamba expressed the commission's disappointment with Ramaphosa's reluctance to discuss the CR17 campaign funds until the courts had finalised the matter.
"To insist the legal process must conclude to avoid appearing before the IC on the basis that matters are before the courts distorts the role of the IC, undermines the work of the IC and presents an unnecessary delay to the work of the IC, "read the report.
The commission was also not impressed with Ramaphosa trying to have his legal adviser present at their meeting, which is not allowed by the commission's terms of reference.
Mashamba wrote that the IC first requested to meet Ramaphosa in 2018 when the issue of Bosasa and the CR17 campaign funds first arose.
"The IC identified this as a very important and sensitive issue for the organisation, and anticipated that this was going to do damage to the reputation and good standing of the ANC, "he said.
According to Mashamba, Ramaphosa accepted the commission's approach and offered to send a 69-page presentation he had prepared, which he had not done.
The report quotes Ramaphosa as having told the commission that the ANC needed to accept that campaigning was part of the modern way in which political parties operate, but it has to be regulated.
Ramaphosa said many conferences had taken resolutions on this, yet the practice had become one in which the use of money had underpinned leadership contests.
The Commission however, instructed anyone with undisputed evidence of vote-buying at the ANC 2017 elective conference, which elected Ramaphosa as party president, to urgently take the matter to the Disciplinary Committee.
Ramaphosa is the second high level ANC official to appear before the Integrity Commission after the party's Secretary General Ace Magashule.
The Integrity Commission instructed Magashule to step aside following his corruption case relating to the multi-million rand asbestos project while he was premier in the Free State.
According to the report, the commission maintained a view that raising and using money for individual leadership campaigns at all levels of the organisation should be strictly prohibited.
The matter of the CR17 campaign funds is before the Constitutional Court after public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane investigated the movement of money raised for Ramaphosa's campaign between different accounts. She found there was merit in suspicion about money laundering.
The high court set aside her report in its entirety, and sternly rebuked her for some of her findings. The public protector, supported by the EFF, then applied to the ConCourt to overturn the high court order.