Johannesburg – President Cyril Ramaphosa failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution and has a case to answer on the Phala Phala farm robbery scandal.
These are some of the conclusions of three political parties who made submissions to the section 89 independent panel established by Parliament to determine whether or not Ramaphosa violated the Constitution and bridged the executive oath of office.
The three-member panel, chaired by former Constitutional Court Chief Judge, Sandile Ngcobo, supported by former Judge Thokozile Masipa and Advocate Mahlape Sello, is expected to make a pronouncement before the end of November.
“There is prima facie evidence of a serious violation of the Constitution and several laws and regulations and prima facia evidence of serious misconduct. We reiterate that by his own admission, Ramaphosa has already violated section 96 (2) (a) and (b) of the Constitution. Whether or not he declared, which we dispute, this violation stands alone like a sore thumb and makes a mockery of every attempt Ramaphosa makes to obfuscate matters,” the party said in its submission.
The EFF said the panel must also determine:
- How much exactly was stolen from Phala-Phala farm,
- Why did Ramaphosa not declare the US dollars that were stored in his mattresses and couch,
- Why was the case not opened at a police station after the trespassing, housebreaking, and theft,
- Were the police involved in the search and interrogation of the alleged criminals who stole Ramaphosa’s money,
- Did the SAPS crime intelligence unit search for and question the people who were thought to have stolen money from Ramaphosa, and
- Did Ramaphosa attempt to conceal crimes of money laundering, corruption or fraud?
The Sunday Independent previously reported that two crime intelligence officers were dispatched from Pretoria to Cape Town with a state grabber which was used to ping and trace the farm robbers to a house in Milnerton.
The police used a fictitious drug case to conduct this clandestine investigation which was led by Ramaphosa’s head of security, General Wally Rhoode. The men found at the house were allegedly tortured and kidnapped, and taken to the crime scene where they were forced to surrender some of their remaining loot.
Former state security agency (SSA) DG Arthur Fraser, who brought the Phala Phala farm robbery scandal to the public domain when he opened a case of kidnapping and torture against President Ramaphosa and Rhoode at Rosebank police station on the first of June this year, claimed in his affidavit that after the robbers, all Namibian nationals, were allegedly interrogated by Rhoode and his team, the general instructed the president to give the robbers R150 000 each in cash to conceal the crime and the fact that they were allegedly tortured.
Ramaphosa’s helper at the farmer, also a Namibian national, allegedly gave the robbers a tip-off about an undisclosed amount of American dollars that were concealed in the president’s furniture. She was also allegedly tortured and fired from her job and later reinstated and also allegedly paid R150 000 as well.
Fraser in his affidavit claimed that there was about $4-million to $8-million at the farm when the robbery took place. Ramaphosa has previously conceded that a robbery did take place on his farm on February 9, 2020, but claimed that a lesser amount than the one reported by Fraser, was stolen.
But the EFF submitted a voice recording to the panel “in which Ramaphosa’s investigator tells the suspect that the amount stolen is $20-million.”
“This should be regarded as the official position about the amount stolen and known to Ramaphosa. Accordingly, we submit that he has also lied to Parliament and the public when he stated that the amount stolen is far less than the amount mentioned in Fraser’s statement,” the EFF stated in its submission.
These sentiments were echoed by the African Transformation Movement (ATM) in their submission. The party said Ramaphosa is on record admitting that a certain amount of dollars was stolen in his Phala Phala Farm, “but was evasive about the exact amount and how that foreign currency got into the country.”
“This was laid bare by the letter from the South African Reserve Bank which also sought to get answers from Mr Ramaphosa on the origins of this foreign currency and the underlying transaction. If this money had come into the country lawfully, the SARB systems would reflect all the pertinent details and there would have been no need for the SARB to be writing to him. Implicit in this letter is that the SARB is in the dark on the origins, the passage of these dollars into South Africa and for what purpose,” the party said in its submission.
The party added that Ramaphosa “issued an unlawful instruction” when directing Rhoode to personally investigate the burglary at his farm, instead of reporting the matter to the police.
“Contrary to the misleading response in Parliament during the last Question and Answer session on 29 September 2022, where Mr Ramaphosa said he reported the burglary to General Rhoode and basically left it to him in terms of reporting the incident to the police. General Rhoode in his sworn affidavit, (leaked to the media) commissioned on 12 July 2022, for the Deputy Public Protector, contradicted Mr Ramaphosa.”
ATM claimed Ramaphosa “unlawfully instructed” Rhoode “to be the law unto himself instead of reporting the matter to the nearest police station” and to personally investigate the matter.
The party added that Rhoode, as part of the unlawful instruction, “also used state resources to travel to Namibia where he met the police from Namibia” in no man’s land, a neutral place between the borders of the two countries. The party said, “Rhoode and his team’s unlawful activities flow from the unlawful instruction from Mr Ramaphosa, where a chain reaction of transgressions including kidnapping, unlawful interrogation of suspects, non-submission of break-in evidence to the police, and many other transgressions.”
ATM leader and member of Parliament, Vuyolwethu Zungula, wrote to the speaker of parliament and requested that the National Assembly must initiate processes to impeach Ramaphosa and remove him as the president of the country.
Zungula said, based on Fraser’s affidavit, Ramaphosa allegedly violated the constitution and the laws of the land in dealing with the robbery at his farm. Zungula also reported President Ramaphosa to the office of the public protector.
United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, General Bantu Holomisa, in his submission, requested the panel to investigate the source of the American dollars that were stolen from Ramaphosa’s farm based on Fraser’s second affidavit in which he claimed the money came from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Morocco and Equatorial Guinea.
President Ramaphosa told Parliament that the money came from a sale of game at his farm.
“It is clear that the veracity of the information provided, and the allegations made in the letter should be investigated by the Independent Panel. The Hawks should shed some light on what has transpired in terms of their actions taken subsequent to receiving this additional information. Such steps will surely be of assistance to the Independent Panel and their work,” Holomisa said in his submission.
The DA chief whip, Siviwe Gwarube, on Thursday said that their party did not make any submission because they believe the EF, UDM and ATM have covered all the necessary allegations, surrounding the Phala Phala farm robbery in their submissions.
“We had a lengthy and intensive discussion about the matter and we concluded that the other parties have covered everything and we had nothing new to add hence we decided not to make any submission,” Gwarube said.
The party leader, John Steenhuizen, had earlier asked the FBI to probe the source of the American dollars stolen at Ramaphosa’s farm.
Ramaphosa has 10 days to respond to the allegations submitted to the independent panel.
The president’s spokesperson, spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said Ramaphosa was cooperating with the investigations and that the Presidency wouldn’t like to make any comment.
The Independent panel is expected to finalise their assessment of the evidence and make their pronouncement within 30 days. – IOL