Serious questions have been raised about why President Cyril Ramaphosa had $4 million (R61.8 million) in cash at his Limpopo-based Phala Phala farm when it was robbed by criminals in 2020.
The president has come under scrutiny following the explosive revelations by the State Security Agency’s (SSA) former Director-General Arthur Fraser.
Fraser on Wednesday laid a criminal complaint against Ramaphosa, accusing him of breaching the Prevention of Organised Crime Act by not reporting the robbery.
He further claims the suspects who broke into the president’s property were subsequently kidnapped, interrogated, and paid off to keep silent.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya told Talk Radio 702 that the large amount of cash stolen was not a transaction arising from an auction.
“This would normally happen in the cause of operations at the farm. Clients will come in and out to acquire various types of game. So, this was money that was collected during the sale of various sorts of game.”
“It was not unusual that there were cash payments because some clients do transact in cash and some clients will transact in via EFT. So, there was nothing unusual in terms of the transaction itself and the nature of the transaction.”
Magwenya also said there wasn’t a formal case opened after the cash was stolen.
“From the president’s perspective, a very senior policeman was aware of the matter. He had looked into the matter and he considered the matter closed because there was nothing further to do, based on its own investigation.”
Magwenya also said Fraser’s credibility and reasons for opening a criminal case against the Ramaphosa should be interrogated because he had ample opportunity to ascertain facts directly from the president.
“For the president, it’s also interesting to note that Mr Fraser was part of the security cluster, he had access to the president. He still would have had access after he left public office to the president and it is very unclear as to why he will go public and press charges.”
The Presidency said that while it could not detail the exact amount that was stolen, the US$4 million detailed by Fraser was an exaggeration.
Meanwhile, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has announced that the red berets will upload footage of the burglary that took place at Ramaphosa’s farm on Friday.