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Whether it’s faction battles or cracking down on corruption, experts say it is now up to the South African Police Service (Saps) to conduct proper investigations into the allegations and criminal case against President Cyril Ramaphosa to determine whether it was part of a political war or not.
Legal expert advocate Mannie Witz noted in cases like this, many people are usually gunning for each other for their own reasons, especially in politics. However, if Ramaphosa was indeed innocent, he had nothing to worry about at the moment while he waits for the investigation to proceed.
“We have to wait for it to be properly investigated. They have to gather enough proof and not just go on hearsay by whoever opened the case,” Witz said.
“Before we jump to conclusions that this actually happened or if this is plotted, there might actually be something behind it, so we need to wait for Saps to gather evidence and take it to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for them to decide.”
However, political analyst Ongama Mtimka said the statement by former director-general of State Security Arthur Fraser was incoherent and unintelligible. This made it clear that they were using matters of criminality, which are known to be a practice among SA politicians.
“At this stage, the details around this are too cagey and all over the place to yield any outcome, at least as far as what is available to the public is concerned,” he said. “It would help a lot if the affidavit was made public. It might also prompt the matter to be handled publicly.”
ALSO READ: Ramaphosa confirms there was robbery at farm, but denies Fraser’s allegations
The Presidency denied claims by Fraser that Ramaphosa was involved in criminal misconduct and the theft of millions of dollars. It said it was clear that there was no basis for the claims of criminal misconduct.
In a statement, the Presidency said it “can confirm that a robbery took place at the president’s farm in Limpopo on or around 9 February 2020, in which proceeds from the sale of game were stolen”.
“The president was attending an AU Summit in Addis Ababa at the time the incident occurred,” spokesperson for the president Vincent Magwenya said. “On being advised of the robbery, President Ramaphosa reported the incident to the head of the Presidential Protection Unit of the South African Police Service for investigation.”
It is understood that external and internal security camera footage from the farmhouse was handed to Fraser by a member of the unit’s team.
Meanwhile, in 2020, Fraser told the Zondo commission that he would be forced to reveal “state secrets” about presidents – past and present – as well as judges and parliamentarians in his evidence.
ALSO READ: Accused of kidnapping: Arthur Fraser calls on Ramaphosa to tell the truth
In a statement, Fraser said he had taken the “unprecedented step” of laying criminal charges of violating the Prevention of Organised Crime Act against the president. He said details of the charges and supporting evidence included photographs, bank accounts, video footage and names, had been handed to Rosebank police, along with his statement.
Fraser said the charges related to the theft of more than $4 million (R62 million) from the president’s Phala Phala farm in Limpopo on 9 February 2020, which was “concealed” .
“The president concealed the crime from the Saps and the South African Revenue Service and thereafter paid the culprits for their silence,” Fraser said.
Fraser said Ramaphosa’s conduct and that of others involved, constituted a breach of anti-corruption laws.
“I trust that the police and the prosecuting authorities will investigate this matter without fear or favour,” he said. “I also trust that the president will take the nation into his confidence and accept or deny that the events I describe in my affidavit occurred on his property.”
Arthur Fraser lays criminal charges against Ramaphosa