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DA’s Steenhuisen wants Ramaphosa to come clean

File Picture: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Reuters

File Picture: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Reuters

Published Jun 21, 2022

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Durban - DA leader John Steenhuisen said President Cyril Ramaphosa must speak out and not go to ground over serious allegations that he did not report a crime that was committed at his Phala Phala farm in 2020 and that he used state resources to cover it up.

Former spy boss Arthur Fraser submitted an affidavit to police on June 1 which alleges that the president did not report the theft of “large undisclosed sums of foreign currency in the form of US dollars concealed in his furniture at his Phala Phala residence”.

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Fraser has also alleged that Ramaphosa tried to cover up the February 2020 crime using state resources.

Steenhuisen said the longer the silence by Ramaphosa continues, the more damage was done locally and internationally.

“The president cannot use the ongoing investigation to avoid tough questions. This may be good advice legally but politically this is disastrous.

“We believe even on his own version of events there are serious questions to be answered. As the Namibian angle and local angle develops, he needs to take SA and its citizens into his confidence,” he said.

Steenhuisen said this was the same president who raised his hands at the Union buildings and swore to uphold the Constitution and all laws of the republic.

“Cyril Ramaphosa may be the preferred person to lead the ANC, but the law must apply equally, he must be above reproach and stick to the oath of office,” he said.

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These are some of the steps the DA says it has taken to hold Ramaphosa accountable:

  • The party has written to the United States FBI (Pretoria office) to request that they investigate allegations of possible money laundering by the president.
  • They have written to Sars and the Financial Intelligence Centre requesting that they investigate the various alleged financial transactions that followed the theft and how there was a conversion of foreign currency without raising red flags.
  • They have asked Acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka to investigate in terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act and to request her to investigate the alleged breaches of the Executive Ethics Code.
  • The party wants Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the chairperson of the portfolio committee overseeing the police, to request that Major General Wally Rhoode appear before the committee.

Steenhuisen‘s press conference comes as Ramaphosa faces fresh scrutiny over allegations that he has interfered with the judiciary with the delay of the fifth and final part of the State Capture inquiry, which includes a focus on the State Security Agency.

The Presidency issued a statement in the early hours of Tuesday morning saying it rejected claims that the President has in any manner interfered with the work of the commission or the judiciary as speculated by some opposition parties. The Presidency said it issued the statement to “to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding”.

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One SA Movement leader, Mmusi Maimane responded to the Presidency statement, asking why it was necessary for Ramaphosa and Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, who heads the inquiry, to have private meetings regarding the fifth part of the report.

“The speculation is not coming from nowhere! Firstly, the deadline was the 15th, secondly these private engagements between the CJ (Zondo) and implicated people reasonably lead to questions of judicial independence,” Maimane said on Twitter.

The EFF in a statement described the delay in releasing the report as “patently factional and suspicious”.

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“This successive delay, after Arthur Fraser has made damning allegations of Ramaphosa’s involvement in money laundering, kidnapping, bribery and defeating the ends of justice, gives credence to the claims that the report is being altered in order to cast doubt on the credibility of Arthur Fraser,” the party said.

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