The ANC has accepted that Ramaphosa made a sincere and honest mistake, but Maimane insists he lied to parliament.
“This is an extremely serious breach of conduct in terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act. It has very serious implications for his presidency and cannot be made to go away by a sheepish apology,” Maimane said. “For this reason, I have referred the matter to the public protector for investigation. If it is then found that the president knowingly and wilfully misled parliament, he will have to face the consequences. Because this is the level of accountability our democracy deserves.”
Maimane said the way corruption works is that a company makes a donation to a politician and in return is rewarded with government contracts, which are usually awarded outside of the normal tender process, and often at inflated prices.
“A bribe is a bribe, whether it is paid to a local councillor, to Jacob Zuma or to Cyril Ramaphosa. If we were outraged when others did it, we should be equally outraged when the new president does it.”