Photo: GCIS/ Flickr

SONA drama! Cyril’s deadline to ‘come clean’ over CR17 funds ends TODAY

What happens if Cyril Ramaphosa misses this CR17 deadline? Well, we’ll soon find out, should he fail to respond before midnight.


Photo: GCIS/ Flickr

What is the last thing a president needs to deal with on the same day he is scheduled to give a SONA speech to South Africa? Because we’d wager that this glaring issue with the CR17 funds is at the top of the last.

CR17 funds latest: Ramaphosa facing major deadline

Later this evening, President Ramaphosa is set to deliver SONA 2022 from Cape Town City Hall. Already feeling the weight of the nation on his shoulders, the 69-year-old has also been alerted to a major timekeeping issue.

At the end of January, The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) gave Ramaphosa a ten-day deadline to clarify comments he made about the now-infamous CR17 funds. The cash, raised in order to support Cyril’s run for ANC leader back in 2017, is alleged to have come from some suspicious – and downright illegal – sources.

SONA latest: Cyril set to walk political tightrope

A leaked recording of the president, which initially surfaced last year, captured the head of state suggesting that he would conceal some details about campaign funding, if it meant protecting the reputation of the ANC.

A fellow party MP, Mervyn Dirks, referred this incident to SCOPA before he was suspended from his position. However, the Committee has taken an interest in the audio clip, and they told Ramaphosa to submit his version of events by Thursday 10 February. With just hours remaining before SONA kicks off, it’s unclear if this deadline will be met.

What happens if Ramaphosa misses the CR17 deadline?

Should President Ramaphosa fail to respond, it would raise further questions about his involvement in party funding behind the scenes. SCOPA chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa says its vital his Committee gets the president’s side of the story.

“With the issue of the president and the recording, we have sent a set of questions which he must respond to. His deadline is today. The committee is pursuing due process. We will not allow a situation to be drawn into factionalism.”

“We are very interested in president making an assertion that public funds WERE used for political party activities. We need the information that the president has in order for us to strengthen the work of the Auditor-General.”

SCOPA Chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa