Home South African Road outside Bela-Bela Magistrate’s Court cordoned off ahead of Phala Phala bail...

Road outside Bela-Bela Magistrate’s Court cordoned off ahead of Phala Phala bail hearing

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The case also attracted a high media contingency that had come to cover the case, which involves President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm.

The NPA in Limpopo said the police presence, where roads outside court were also cordoned off, was due to the fact that it was a high-profile case. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/ Independent Newspapers

THERE was a high police presence at the Bela-Bela Magistrate’s Court on Friday with police heavily armed with high-calibre rifles, where three suspects of the Phala Phala farm theft were due to appear.

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in Limpopo, the police presence, where roads outside court were also cordoned off, was due to the fact that it was a high-profile case.

The case also attracted a high media contingency that had come to cover the case, which involves President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm where, reportedly about $580,000 (now about R10 million) was allegedly stolen in the 2020 burglary.

The cash was allegedly hidden in sofas, which blew the lid on allegations of tax evasion against Ramaphosa, but was later cleared by the SA Revenue Service.

Two people, Imanuwela David and Froliana Joseph, initially appeared before the same court on Tuesday this week and were remanded in custody for a formal bail application on Friday.

A third suspect was arrested on Thursday in connection with the burglary. The suspect, who could not be named before appearing in court, handed himself over to police in Bela-Bela.

Spokesperson for the NPA, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said that they were ready to proceed with the bail application for David and Joseph, however, were expecting the case to be postponed for the new suspect to apply for bail.

She could not divulge if the state expected more suspects to be arrested.

Malabi-Dzhangi said: “It is alleged that between January 1 and February 2, 2020, the accused persons conspired to commit housebreaking with intent to steal and theft at Phala Phala farm, and on January 8, 2020 Imanuwela, with two others, entered Stokkiesdraai farm believing that it was Phala Phala farm.

“They broke and entered, but nothing was stolen. The following night, they located the Phala Phala farm where they broke, entered and stole (the money).”

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