Did Cyril Ramaphosa lie about the stolen Phala Phala dollars?

Published Nov 10, 2023


The unfolding of the Phala Phala saga after the arrest and court appearance of the Phala Phala theft suspects Froliana Joseph and her accomplice Emanuwela David appeared in the Bela Bela Magistrate’s Court may be causing President Cyril Ramaphosa some chest pains, but as the saying goes, consequence is no coincident.

Ramaphosa’s former housekeeper Joseph and her accomplice David appeared on Wednesday on four counts of money laundering, conspiracy to commit housebreaking with intent to steal, and theft.

The two appear in court on Friday for their bail hearing in a case where more details about the robbery are expected to come to light, particularly the actual amount of US dollars that were stolen from the President's property.

The Section 89 Independent Panel, chaired by retired Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo, cautioned that Ramaphosa was not being truthful by declaring that only $580 000 (an estimated R9.5 million) was stolen.

In his report, Ngcobo said: “Furthermore, the information presented to the Panel establishes, prima facie, that the money that was stolen was probably more than US$580,000. As one of the suspects stated, they stole about US$800,000.

“Furthermore, the Namibian police reported that they had identified individuals, bank accounts, and properties, including lodges, houses, and vehicles, suspected to have been purchased with the proceeds of the crime.”

Ngcobo further said another troubling feature about the source of the stolen foreign currency was that the theft was never reported to the SA Police Services (SAPS) for investigation as an ordinary crime. “Nor was the theft reported under Section 34(1) of PRECCA.

“Furthermore, General Rhoode suggested that the suspects or some of them, cooperated with their investigation. Indeed, as pointed out earlier, one suspect is heard in an audio recording confessing, in effect, to stealing US$800,000,” he said.

Meanwhile, former head of the State Security Agency Arthur Fraser, who blew the lid on this matter, alleged in his affidavit that the amount of money stolen was between $4 million and $8m. He also claimed the President attempted to conceal the crime by paying off those who stole from him in exchange for their silence on the theft at his farm.

On Friday all eyes will be on the Bela Bela Magistrate’s court as South Africa seeks the truth about what really unfolded at Ramaphosa’s farm.

The Limpopo National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson, Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi said it would prosecute without fear, favour, or prejudice.

“We are committed to the rule of law, as per our Constitution, nobody is above the law. As such, the NPA will prosecute anyone including the President, if evidence is available to prove the commission of an offence. We will not protect anyone,” she said.

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