Citizen Reporter
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4 minute read
19 Jun 2022
11:35 am

Ramaphosa farm theft: NPA denies Namibian police reached out, while suspects only took $800K

Citizen Reporter

The Department of Justice, meanwhile, says there is 'ongoing engagements' with Namibia.

President Cyril Ramaphosa outside the Luthuli House in Johannesburg on 21 May 2018. Picture: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Mduduzi Ndzingi

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has denied the suggestion that the Namibian Police Force (Nampol) contacted the institution over President Cyril Ramaphosa’s $4 million theft saga.

Government has now come under fire as well after it emerged this week that Namibian authorities had indeed made contact with their South African authorities regarding the February 2020 theft at the president’s Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.

In a three-page statement, Nampol Inspector-General, Sebastian Ndeitunga on Thursday revealed that Namibian police met with the South African Police Service (Saps) at “no man’s land” on 19 June 2020 following the arrest of one of the suspects connected to the theft.

lmanuwela David, who was found in possession of 1,100 US dollars – among other things, was arrested after entering Namibia illegally on 13 June.

David, however, returned to South Africa in November after paying a fine for unlawfully entering Namibia.

Letter

Namibian authorities, Ndeitunga said, had made a formal request, via letter, to Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola’s office, asking confirmation of the alleged theft at Ramaphosa’s farm.

The letter – dated 23 July 2020 – was allegedly marked for the NPA’s attention, City Press reported.

This was Namibia’s second interaction with South Africa after the “no-mans land” meeting near Noordoewer in the Karas Region

The meeting had resolved that Nampol and Saps would investigate within their jurisdiction.

ALSO READ: Namibian police deny doing ‘dirty work’ for Ramaphosa as more details emerge

While Lamola has denied receiving the Namibian authorities’ letter, a South African government official told City Press that the request should have been sent to the Minister via the NPA in terms of diplomatic protocol.

But NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga on Friday indicated that the prosecuting authority had not received any communication from the Namibian authorities regarding the matter.

Meanwhile, Lamola’s spokesperson, Chrispin Phiri said the ministry has noted reports about the request for information from the Namibian authorities.

“We can confirm that there are ongoing engagements through diplomatic channels to establish whether there’s a record of the request,” Phiri said.

Cover-up claims

South African authorities have been accused of participating in the alleged cover-up for the theft.

Former State Security Agency (SSA) director-general Arthur Fraser – who laid criminal charges against Ramaphosa due to the crime not being reported to Saps – in his affidavit claimed the suspects, including David, who broke into the president’s property were kidnapped, interrogated, and paid off to keep silent as a cover-up.

He further alleged that when Ramaphosa “sought assistance” Namibian President Hage Geingobto apprehend the suspects behind the theft, this resulted in Presidential Protective Unit head Major-General Wally Rhoode entering and exiting Namibia using unofficial channels.

READ MORE: ‘Ramaphosa must resign’: Carl Niehaus joins Arthur Fraser and lays charges

The president has denied criminal conduct on his part, saying the alleged millions of US dollars – which were said to be found in couches and mattresses – were not the proceeds of crime, but from the sale of game.

 Fraser met with the Hawks – who received the docket into the theft from Saps last week – to provide more details about the matter.

The Hawks could also rope in Geingob, who has denied the allegations against him, its investigations.

‘We just walked inside’

According to Sunday Times, David has since claimed that “it was easy” to rob Ramphosa’s farm.

David was recorded during an interview, where he reveals how the robbery took place, the publication reported.

In the audio clip, the alleged mastermind said he, along with his cousin, were informed about the cash hidden in a couch by one of Ramaphosa’s employees and then they decided to break into the president’s farm.

“She’s a cleaner. She came across a sofa full of US money, dollars. Then she sent a picture to my cousin. Erik said you must be lying, take a sample and bring it. She took a sample of 200 notes,” he said.

“It was easy. We just walked inside… there was no armed robbery. We took out the window and went inside. We went to the sofa. It’s a leather sofa,” David added.

David also revealed that they walked away with $800,000 after the cleaner advised them not to take all the money.

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