Two Phala Phala game farm robbery accused granted bail
The Phala Phala accused are facing charges of theft, housebreaking with intent to steal, money laundering and conspiracy to commit robbery.
Imanuwela David and Froliana Joseph in the dock. Picture: X/@Am_Blujay
Two of the three suspects linked to a burglary at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala game farm have been granted bail.
Three suspects appeared in the Bela Bela District Court on Friday on charges of theft, housebreaking with intent to steal, money laundering and conspiracy to commit robbery at the farm.
Froliana Joseph and her brother David Joseph were granted bail. Imanuwela David will remain in custody.
Magistrate Predeshni Poonan handed down the judgment.
Poonan said Froliana Joseph and David Joseph have co-operated with police, so the state was not opposed to them being released on bail.
Former cleaner at the farm Froliana Joseph was released on R5 000 bail and David Joseph on R10 000 bail.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi told The Citizen accused number one, Imanuwela David, had been remanded in custody.
“His attorney Koena Matlala only appeared for him today. We are ready to proceed but he is only available on 6 December. So, the case has been postponed until then.”
Malabi-Dzhangi said the trio will be back in court on 6 December.
Imanuwela David and Froliana Joseph were arrested earlier this month while 27-year-old Ndilinasho David Joseph, the brother of Froliana, a former employee at the game farm handed himself over to police.
When Froliana was arrested, the NPA said she was a Namibian national, but in her bail affidavit, Froliana said she was born and raised in Bela Bela, Limpopo.
Froliana also said she has a new-born baby that she was raising.
The siblings said they were not flight risks.
The trio are accused of stealing $580 000 (about R10.6 million at the time) from Ramaphosa‘s game farm in February 2020.
The theft came to light when former State Security Agency boss, Arthur Fraser, opened a case of kidnapping and money laundering against Ramaphosa, the head of the Presidential Protection Services Major-General Wally Rhoode and Crime Intelligence.
They were accused of concealing the robbery.
Among the allegations was that the president paid off suspects, who stole millions in foreign currency that was stashed in the furniture on the farmhouse, in exchange for their silence.
Fraser said the president did not just cover up the incident, he also violated several foreign currency and tax evasion laws by hiding a large stash of cash in the furniture.
The former spy boss further claimed the suspects who broke into the president’s property were subsequently kidnapped, interrogated, and paid off to keep silent.
However, the recently appointed Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka cleared Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing over the manner the theft was handled with opposition parties rejecting her decision.