’I do not intend to address these matters in a piece-meal fashion and will ensure the investigations currently under way have my full co-operation.’
PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa continues to remain tight-lipped about the details of the theft of $4 million (R61m at the time) on his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo, ducking several parliamentary questions on the matter.
Instead, Ramaphosa chose to give a standard response to specific questions from both DA leader John Steenhuisen and EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu.
In one set of questions, Shivambu asked whether Ramaphosa would take the public into his confidence by providing the evidence that the money that he stored at his farm was the proceeds of a game auction.
He also asked whether the president ordinarily stored large amounts of money at his properties other than his farm.
Ramaphosa said he would answer whatever questions investigators asked of him, saying the law must be allowed to take its course and due process needs to be followed.
Asked whether he ever received a huge monetary amount as a gift during his state visits, Ramaphosa said: “I have furthermore declared every gift provided to me during the course of tenure as deputy president and president as required by law.
“I do not intend to address these matters in a piece-meal fashion and will ensure the investigations currently under way have my full co-operation,” he said.
The president continues to face mounting pressure to come clean about the incident he claimed to have only reported to his head of security and not the police.
It also remains unclear whether Sars, the SA Reserve Bank and Treasury were investigating the alleged concealment of foreign currency. None of these entities have publicly disclosed initiating a probe.
When Shivambu asked whether the R60m in foreign currency was from an auction on his farm and why he did not report a case of theft, Ramaphosa again stated his readiness to co-operate with any investigation.
The scandal also brings into the spotlight the president’s much-talked about accountability and transparency as he occupied the country’s top office on a ticket of clean governance.
Ramaphosa would not be dragged into answering several other pointed questions from Steenhuisen as he repeatedly insisted that he was ready to co-operate with any investigations.