We won’t interfere with Phala Phala probe; allow agencies to do their work – Paul Mashatile

Deputy President Paul Mashatile responded to Oral Questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Deputy President Paul Mashatile responded to Oral Questions in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP). Picture: Kopano Tlape/GCIS

Published Apr 20, 2023


Deputy President Paul Mashatile says the government will not interfere in investigations into Phala Phala by law enforcement agencies.

He said already a number of agencies were probing the matter and it would be interference if government directed those investigations.

Mashatile, who was answering oral questions in the National Council of Provinces on Thursday, said the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks and other law enforcement agencies must be allowed to do their work on Phala Phala.

The deputy president was answering MPs at the same time that his boss, President Cyril Ramaphosa, was meeting with his counterpart from Namibia, Hage Geingob.

Ramaphosa had earlier told journalists in Pretoria that the issue of Phala Phala wasn’t discussed at their meeting.

Geingob was also linked to Phala Phala after it emerged that Ramaphosa had contacted him when $582 000 (R10.5 million) was stolen from his farm.

It is said Namibian nationals were involved in the theft of the money.

Mashatile said it was premature for political parties to call for the State to intervene in the matter as there were ongoing investigations.

The Public Protector issued a preliminary report, which found that Ramaphosa hadn’t done anything wrong.

The Public Protector was expected to release the final report into the matter.

The ANC in Parliament was criticised for blocking an investigation into Phala Phala after it rejected the section 89 report.

But Mashatile said this was not the time for the state to interfere in these investigations.

“The duty of the Executive is not to investigate cases; it is law enforcement agencies and they must do so. I said earlier, when I was answering oral questions in the National Assembly with respect to our president, that he has subjected himself to the process of law enforcement agencies.

“He has said so. There is the South African Revenue Service that has given a report. There is the South African Reserve Bank that said they are investigating. The public protector gave a preliminary report. She is due to give a final report. Let’s give that a chance. Let’s not interfere. Let’s allow these agencies to do their work. They will do so,” said Mashatile.

He said he believed the role of the state agencies had to remain above board and they had to conduct their investigations without fear or favour.

The NPA, the Hawks and other agencies had in the past proven that.

It was not the business of the government to meddle in the probe into Phala Phala.

“We must never interfere, especially the Executive, in the work of the institutions that we have set up. I said earlier that these institutions are working together. Let us allow them to do their work,” said Mashatile.

[email protected]

Current Affairs