Law firm Edelstein Farber Grobler (EFG) has slammed media reports that one of its founders, Barry Farber, had died in suspicious circumstances.
Farber, 67, died on Saturday, August 11, in his sleep.
On Monday, website Africa News 24-7 published an article authored by Steve Motale, which alleged that a “veil of secrecy” surrounded Farber’s death, whom he named as “Ramaphosa’s lawyer”.
A similar article appeared on the front page of Independent Media’s The Star newspaper on Tuesday morning, under a “Staff Reporter” byline.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, EFG poured cold water on the reports, saying claims that Farber’s death was in any way mysterious could not be “further from the truth”.
EFG said the authors would face consequences for the reports, which it labelled as “grossly irresponsible journalism, sensationalistic, and devoid of fact and truth”.
EFG came under the spotlight after it emerged that a trust account belonging to the firm was used to house donations made to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s successful ANC presidential campaign in 2017.
“Mr Farber’s death, like any person who dies from natural causes, was sudden and tragic and has left a great sense of loss for his family and friends. There is no veil of secrecy or mystery surrounding Mr Farber’s death and to suggest anything to the contrary is nothing more than a veil of lies,” the law firm said.
EFG confirmed that Farber had died in the early hours of Saturday, August 11. His family had decided to have him buried later that afternoon in accordance with Jewish custom.
“What exacerbates matters further is that no attempt was made by the journalist(s) to verify Mr Farber’s cause of death which, had they done so, it would have become abundantly clear that Mr Farber’s death was due to natural causes,” the statement continued.
At the time of his death, Farber was not Ramaphosa’s lawyer or acting for the CR17 campaign, the firm added.