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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

SARB Phala Phala report ‘confusing’ – SA Council of Churches

The SACC said the SA Reserve Bank's Phala Phala report raises more questions than provide answers, as several points remained unclear.

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) said the South African Reserve Banks’s (SARB) statement on the Phala Phala saga is “confusing” and leaves one with more questions than answers.

The SARB has exonerated President Cyril Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing related to the theft of millions of undeclared foreign currency on his Phala Phala game farm in 2020.

Ramaphosa off the hook

Following a year of investigations, the SARB said in its report it “cannot conclude” that Ntaba Nyoni Estates CC (the entity involved) or Ramaphosa flouted foreign exchange control laws.

The bank confirmed it finalised its investigation last week Monday, following allegations made by former correctional services boss Arthur Fraser and complaints by numerous parties.

The SACC said it is important for the Reserve Bank to be clear on exactly what it probed, beyond merely stipulating that the investigation was conducted in two phases.


SACC general secretary Malusi Mpumlwana said several points in the Reserve Bank’s statement remained unclear at the conclusion of its report.

“We struggled to reach an understanding as to what these final conclusions of the SARB investigation actually mean; we found the statement unhelpful.

“Are we, therefore, to understand that – based on what the SARB has not said in its media release – that the average citizen can keep any amount of money in foreign currency, for any length of time, with no expectation that this currency should be declared using the appropriate channels?” questioned Mpumlwana.

ALSO READ: Reserve Bank blasted: Phala Phala outcome sparks public trust controversy

Mpumlwana said the SACC wants clarity on the paper trail of the forex.

“We wanted to know how these funds entered the country, and to be offered some assurance that this was in fact a legal transaction. While the SARB media release laid no wrongdoing at the foot of the president, it did nothing to reassure us that there is a paper trail to support the origins and intended use of these fund.”

Make report public

The SACC has called on the SARB to offer more insight into its investigation findings by sharing its report with the public or presenting it to Parliament.

“This should indeed be occasioned pretty soon to enable all of us to understand the investigation process, and see how they arrived at their conclusions. We all need more clarity than has been given on such a critically important matter. We believe that this is in the best interests of both the South African public and the President himself,” said Mpumlwana.

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa: Indian, coloured and white citizens feel excluded in SA

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