The Sandton-based law firm that provided a trust account which was used to house funds for President Cyril Ramaphosa’s ANC presidential election campaign last year has vehemently denied claims of Gupta/Trillian links to one of its directors. This is in response to the DA, which on Tuesday released a statement highlighting that a director of Edelstein Farber Grobler (EFG), Jeffrey Afriat, was previously a director of Trillian Capital Partners (TCP). The DA claimed that the trust account was a “slush fund”. EFG denied the DA’s claims and stated that it intends suing DA leader Mmusi Maimane over the “defamatory statements and innuendos” in the published statement.
Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance
27 November 2018
The slush-fund used to raise money for Cyril Ramaphosa’s election campaign to become ANC President – which included the R500 000 “donation” from Bosasa – was administered by a law firm whose director appears to have links to the Guptas and their State Capture project.
A trust account named “efg2” – administered by law firm Edelstein, Farber and Grobler (EFG) – was the account into which the R500 000 Bosasa “donation” was funnelled through (and possibly many others), as admitted by the President in his letter to the Speaker of Parliament. This follows his about-turn to my question in Parliament about this R500 000 payment – which Ramaphosa initially stated was a payment to his son, Andile, for consultancy work done for Bosasa.
We can today confirm that Mr Jeffrey Afriat, a director at EFG – the law firm which administered this trust account – served as one of three directors of Trillian Capital, a primary vehicle used by the Guptas to capture the state and loot billions of rands of public money.
Afriat served as director during 2016 alongside Mr Eric Wood – at the apex of State Capture and theft of public money by the Guptas and the ANC. Afriat is also cited twice by name in Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report. Afriat resigned as Trillian director shortly before the Budlender Inquiry into Trillian was launched.
President Ramaphosa is now left with little choice but to heed my call and immediately appoint a full-scale independent inquiry – headed by a retired judge to be selected by the Chief Justice – to fully investigate the Bosasa scandal, which now involves the President and his family. I will today formally write to President Ramaphosa, calling for this inquiry to be established without delay.
We cannot have double standards when it comes to bribery and corruption – particularly not when it involves the highest office of the country. The President’s links to Bosasa – including all payments made to him, to the ANC and to his son, whether directly or through shell companies, third parties or trust accounts – must be investigated in detail.
Today’s reports that Bosasa’s deal with Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) was found to be irregular by the Auditor-General is yet another example of how this dodgy company operates. This is a company embroiled in allegations of fraud and corruption, having paid for security upgrades for ANC politicians; birthday bashes for Jacob Zuma; and scoring over R10 billion in government tenders and contracts.
The people of South Africa must know that this system of corruption has become part of the very fabric of the ANC – regardless of who leads the organisation. It is the entire ANC that is corrupt, not just Jacob Zuma, the Guptas and his associates. It operates as a system of corruption that locks out the poor and the unemployed – to the benefit of the politically connected few.
The reality is that the ANC cannot be reformed, it must be removed from government come 2019.