As expected, the budget vote delivered by President Cyril Ramaphosa in Parliament on Thursday was overshadowed by the revelations of the $4 million allegedly stolen at the president’s Phala Phala farm in Limpopo, the Citizen reported last week.
Following his speech, opposition parties used the time to debate his budget speech to ask Ramaphosa to “come clean” about the events surrounding the large sum of money he kept on his Phala Phala farm, and why he had not reported the theft to the police.
This all became public after former spy boss Arthur Fraser asked the police to investigate Ramaphosa, Presidential Protection Unit head Major-General Wally Rhoode and members of crime intelligence for money laundering, acting in contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act and corruption, as reported by various media houses.
I attended the media briefing on Friday, which started two hours late. President Ramaphosa looked tired and hopeless.
He was hammered with questions mostly focused on the millions stolen on his farm, such as “Will you step down? Are you concerned about your legacy as being seen as a money launderer, a murderer?” And many more.
Fact is that the robbery took place in 2020, according to Fraser. My question is why on earth Mr President, did you not bank the money?
As a businessman, surely you are aware that citizens must switch foreign currency within 30 days of arrival in South Africa – a Reserve Bank rule.
Why then can you, as president, think you can hold millions of dollars on your farm as long as you want? Don’t you respect the rules of the Sarb?
As far as I know you bank with First National Bank (FNB). Do you think they will suspend or close your bank account based on “negative publicity in the media” as a number of banks have done to the Sekunjalo Group?
Are you not a reputational risk to your banker(s)?
As far as I know, neither FNB, Treasury or Sars came out with a statement, yet Mr Ramaphosa, you bragged about the billions of investments SA received at the so-called President’s Investment Conference(s).
Do you think, with this extreme international scandal that you are involved in, that any global (or even local) investor would trust you and invest in South Africa? To create the jobs SA desperately needs?
From the CR17 Campaign, bribes paid by Glencore, the Marikana slaughter, and now allegations that you never declared the money received by, still unknown buyers, of your “game”.
You need to speak out, and don’t hide behind “an investigation”. If this was any other citizen, they would have been arrested or as you did to the public protector, and suspended with immediate effect.