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Farmgate: Police were not protecting Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm during foreign currency theft

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.

Published Jul 6, 2022

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Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm was not under the protection of the police when a gang of Namibian nationals allegedly broke into it and stole millions of US dollars, estimated to be worth R60 million at the time, “concealed” in couches two years ago.

This is according to Police Minister Bheki Cele who was responding to parliamentary questions from DA MP Andrew Whitfield. He had asked whether he or the VIP Protection unit was informed of theft of foreign currency at the farm of Ramaphosa when the SAPS annual report for 2019-20 was released.

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Whitfield asked the reason for the security breach not being recorded in the annual report. Ramaphosa had previously claimed that the theft was reported to the head of the Presidential Protection Unit of the SAPS for investigation.

In his written response, Cele confirmed that the security breach was not in the annual report released a few months ago because the farm was provided police protection months after the February 2020 incident.

“The security breach was not reported in the SA Police Service annual report 2019-20 as the president’s farm in Phala Phala was not protected by SAPS presidential protection service. Phala Phala only became the responsibility of SAPS in late 2020 and therefore 2021-22 financial year first quarter, it became part of reporting,” he said.

The minister confirmed that the Hawks were investigating a criminal case relating to a number of allegations made by former State Security Agency director-general Arthur Fraser.

He made the statement after Whitfield enquired what steps SAPS had taken or still intended to take against persons in the theft given the large amount of foreign currency stolen from the farm.

“At this stage the DPCI is investigating the allegations laid by the complainant, and the systematic search for the truth shall dictate the path to follow. Once the investigation has been finalised, the docket will be referred to the National Prosecuting Authority on whether to prosecute or not, and if so, the charges thereof,” Cele said in his response.

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Pressure is mounting on Ramaphosa to take the nation into his confidence about the theft that took place on his farm.

However, he has repeatedly refused to answer specific questions by opposition MPs.

He ducked questions and chose to give a standard response to specific questions from both DA leader John Steenhuisen and EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu.

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In his written responses, Ramaphosa said he would answer whatever questions investigators asked of him.

“I am ready to co-operate with any investigations on this matter and will answer whatever questions the investigators ask of me. The law must be allowed to take its course and due process needs to be followed.”

Cape Times

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