AS EMBATTLED President Cyril Ramaphosa fights for his political life in the build-up to the ANC national conference at the end of this year, he might also have to consider his fashion sense with the prospect of donning orange overalls looming large if the recent allegations against him prove to have merit.
As a sitting president, Ramaphosa holds the highest executive position in the country and thus is expected to be the epitome of flawless leadership and a moral code above reproach. However, the claims made against him by former State Security Agency (SSA) director-general, Arthur Fraser, are way too serious to be swept under the carpet.
According to section 34(1) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (PRECCA), any person who holds a position of authority (defined in section 34(4) of the Act), who knows or ought reasonably to have known or suspected that any other person has committed an offence (of corruption) in terms of sections 3 to 16 or 20 to 21 of the Act or theft, fraud, extortion, forgery or uttering of a forged document involving an amount of R100 000,00 or more, must report such knowledge or suspicion, or cause such knowledge or suspicion, to be reported to any police official.
Section 34(2) of the Act provides that any person who fails to report such corrupt activities is guilty of an offence.
By his own admission, Ramaphosa was aware of the crime that was committed at his Phala Phala farm, and even though he downplayed the amount of cash involved, it was clearly substantial.
The President has suggested that the amount of cash at his farm was nowhere near the alleged $4 million, however, various media outlets have reported how an Ankole bull sold for R1.65 million on auction at Phala Phala – and this was this year.
The rand currency limit for cash in hand in South Africa is R50 000. When cash is in a foreign currency, however, the limit of $10 000 is specified.
Further, South African law dictates that one should declare foreign currency within 30 days. It, therefore, becomes a criminal offence if one keeps foreign currency for longer than 30 days without declaring it to the SA Reserve Bank (SARB) and the SA Revenue Service (SARS).
The President has not at any point denied that he held cash in US dollars at these premises.
The President by his own account then, could not have paid VAT or tax on these proceeds.
If, assuming, he did indeed get these receipts from the sale of game, he is also in contravention of the Cattle Breeders Association, which dictates that no one is allowed to pay cash for cattle, such a transaction can only be made through electronic funds transfer (EFT).
According to the DA: “The Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, has admitted that the head of the SAPS Presidential Protection Unit, General Wally Rhoode, knew about the incident and therefore failed to fulfil his legal obligation to report the crime which occurred at the President's farm. This is also evident from the lack of reporting in the police annual reports.”
Rhoode allegedly arranged for the thieves to be kidnapped, taken to the farm and tortured. They were illegally extradited from Namibia with the full knowledge of the President of South Africa.
This was covered up by paying off the very people who stole the President’s money.
Ramaphosa went and arranged with the Namibian head of state, according to the Namibian media, to cover this all up, in the process, undermining that country’s sovereignty.
For all the above, President Ramaphosa needs to consider how he might look in orange.