Only a probe can clear this mud

Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi has implicated numerous politicians in his testimony at the state capture commission.
Former Bosasa COO Angelo Agrizzi has implicated numerous politicians in his testimony at the state capture commission.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

The EFF is right to demand that President Cyril Ramaphosa should not be given a free pass on the Bosasa saga.

Even though the president's name has not featured in the testimony currently being given by former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi, questions still remain in connection with the circumstances surrounding the donation of R500,000 to Ramaphosa's ANC presidential campaign in 2017.

Given how the company seems to have operated, allegedly keeping the likes of former president Jacob Zuma, his ministers and MPs and senior civil servants in their pockets in return for lucrative contracts, we need to be certain of the current president's relationship with the company.

Ramaphosa insists that he has done no wrong, that his earlier claims that the R500,000 was for his son's company resulted from a misunderstanding.

But we cannot take his word for it and would prefer an independent investigation into the matter.

We, however, disagree with the EFF's approach of threatening to disrupt the upcoming State of the Nation Address if Ramaphosa does not give in to its demand that he holds a press conference on the issue.

Although the tactic contributed immensely in forcing then president Zuma to "pay back the money" unduly spent on his Nkandla home, it is not justified in this case.

Ramaphosa has already agreed to subject himself to an investigation and says he is willing to answer questions before the public protector.

We believe that an independent and thorough investigation by relevant bodies is likely to yield much more satisfying results than a press conference.

Investigations take time, yes, and we understand the politicians' need to have the matter dealt with as soon as possible given that elections are around the corner.

But over the years the office of the public protector, as well as other institutions of our democracy, have proven themselves capable and willing to hold those in power - including the president - to account.

Let these processes take their course and allow Ramaphosa to deliver what would be the last Sona of a turbulent parliamentary term without unnecessary drama.

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