Home South African Farmgate clouds Ramaphosa’s budget vote

Farmgate clouds Ramaphosa’s budget vote

135

All eyes will be on President Cyril Ramaphosa when he appears in Parliament to table the Presidency’s Budget Vote on Thursday, amid serious allegations that millions of US dollars were concealed on his farm before they were apparently stolen by a gang conspiring with his domestic worker.

All eyes will be on President Cyril Ramaphosa when he appears in Parliament to table the Presidency’s Budget Vote on Thursday. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

ALL EYES will be on President Cyril Ramaphosa when he appears in Parliament to table the Presidency’s Budget Vote on Thursday, amid serious allegations that millions of US dollars were concealed on his farm before the money was apparently stolen by a gang conspiring with his domestic worker.

His appearance in the National Assembly comes with a cloud hanging over him after former State Security head Arthur Fraser lodged a criminal complaint against him for alleged money laundering, defeating the ends of justice and kidnapping the suspects who were allegedly interrogated, citing breaches of, inter alia, the Prevention of Organised Crime Act, no 121 of 1998 (“Poca”) and the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act No12 of 2004 (“The Corruption Act”).

The charge relates to a 2020 break-in, where in excess of $4 million (more than R61m) concealed at Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in Waterberg, Limpopo, was stolen by four Namibian nationals and one South African, Fraser said in a scathing affidavit.

Pressure is mounting on Ramaphosa to disclose the full details of the incident which he claimed had only been reported to the head of his security and not the police.

It still remains unclear if the foreign currency was declared with the South African Revenue Services and the Reserve Bank.

Ramaphosa had claimed the cash was from the sale of the game, but questions have been raised on why this was done in cash, and in foreign currency.

Some opposition parties have since written to Parliament, asking that Ramaphosa explains his dealings and whether these were declared in Parliament.

Parliament confirmed the matter is currently with its legal department. On Wednesday Public Protector advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane confirmed receipt of a complaint lodged in terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act No. 82 of 1998 (EMEA) against Ramaphosa for allegedly breaching the Executive Code of Ethics.

“The complaint, which relates to President Ramaphosa’s alleged conduct in respect of allegations of criminal activities at one of his properties, was received last Friday from Mr Vuyo Zungula, MP, President of the African Transformation Movement (ATM). The ATM is a political party represented in Parliament.

“Due to the silence of the EMEA when it comes to the appropriate recipient of the report in case the complaint is against the president, the public protector has previously had to improvise and send it to the Speaker of the National Assembly.

“The investigation concerning Zungula’s complaint has commenced, with allegation letters already written to sources of information, including Ramaphosa,” said Mkhwebane.

Ramaphosa has maintained that he had not been involved in any criminal activity and would co-operate with investigations adding that he would also voluntarily appear before the ANC’s integrity commission.

It has also emerged that Ramaphosa allegedly enlisted the help of his Namibian counterpart President Hage Geingob and unlawfully brought the accused to be interrogated in South Africa, using unofficial channels.

Geingob has denied any involvement. Namibia’s prosecutor-general Martha Imalwa has been quoted by Namibian newspaper, The Namibian, as saying they had solicited the assistance of the South African government to no avail when sums of money were entering their country linked to one of the alleged suspects.

However Justice and Correctional Services spokesperson Chrispin Phiri told the Cape Times on Wednesday that there was no record of a request from the Namibian authorities on the matter.

Meanwhile suspended ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule has weighed in on the matter, saying justice must have an eye for everyone.

“We are watching as South Africa. “We are watching the ANC, we are watching the integrity committee of the ANC and we are watching the people of South Africa.

“I think we must just be treated the same.”

Despite being suspended and barred from any party activity, Magashule said he would contest the elections if nominated.

Political analyst, Professor Sipho Seepe said: “The more Ramaphosa tries to wiggle himself out of this saga, the deeper he sinks. The ANC was damaged before the new revelations.

“Voters expressed their displeasure with the ANC in the last local government elections.

“They were also expressing lack of confidence in Ramaphosa.

“Since then things have gotten worse.

“The president was not only booed by ordinary members in the township but was embarrassed by workers in this year’s May Day rally in Rustenburg. “Effectively they are all saying they are not impressed by Ramaphosa’s public relations exercises and his never ending promises.

“The revelations that he may have been involved in acts of illegality and criminality destroys whatever may be left of his integrity. So far, the authorities have been bungling.”

Approached for comment, police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe said: “All that is being said and alleged is subject of that investigation. As such, the SAPS won’t comment further on this matter and just like in any other case the SAPS won’t provide a blow-by-blow account of the progress of the investigation.”

Cape Times

Previous articleUS donates condoms and lube to Namibia amid shortage fears
Next articleBrave Bafana go down fighting in close Afcon qualifier