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This is why the DA wants the FBI to tackle 'farmgate' investigations

Democratic Alliance leader, John Steenhuisen has written to the FBI to investigate allegations of possible money laundering by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Facebook

Democratic Alliance leader, John Steenhuisen has written to the FBI to investigate allegations of possible money laundering by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Facebook

Published Jun 22, 2022

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Durban - Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen has written to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate allegations of possible money laundering by President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Background

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Ramaphosa's Phala Phala Farm in Limpopo has come under the spotlight due to an alleged robbery in 2020.

The Presidency confirmed the incident, adding that proceeds from the sale of game were stolen.

Former spy boss, Arthur Fraser, has opened a case claiming that a large sum of dollar bills were found hidden in furniture at the farm. Further, he alleged robbers were interrogated and paid to stay silent.

Fraser claimed that the robbers also converted some of the money into South African Rands and went on a lavish spending spree.

One of the alleged robbers fled to Namibia and was sent back to SA. The Namibian government denies any involvement in the matter.

This week, Steenhuisen said the DA has approached the FBI

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"Specifically, we have requested that the FBI considers investigating the source of the funds and whether the money was brought into South Africa legitimately and declared to the appropriate authorities.

“We have recommended that the ledgers or journals which would have recorded the alleged sale of wild game at auction be requested from the president, to determine the identities of those involved in the suspicious cash transactions.

“A cash transaction within South Africa involving $4 million is deeply suspicious, and more so since the cash was then hidden in furniture, and its theft was investigated off the record and covered up.

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"This is part of our nine-step plan. The FBI is tasked with investigating white collar corruption and money laundering involving the use of US dollars, particularly with these cross borders. I think it's very important that we understand where these dollars have come from, which borders they've crossed and how they ended up in South Africa. And we believe that they would be better placed to be able to answer that question," he said.

Steenhuisen added that they have written to the Financial Intelligence Centre to investigate allegations around financial transactions that following the theft, including the purchase of several luxury cars.

The party has also directed questions to the South African Revenue Services' Tax Fraud Department. Letters have also been submitted to the Secretary of Cabinet, Public Protector, National SAPS Commissioner, Parliament Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, Minister of Public Works and Parliament Committee on Police.

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Steenhuisen said they were doubtful whether SAPS could be trusted to undertake an unbiased investigation.

"But even though the case was never formally reported, two sources within Crime Intelligence have revealed that all the top SAPS leadership knew about the robbery and were involved in an off-the-record investigation and cover-up. This includes Crime Intelligence boss Peter Jacobs, then national police commissioner Khehla Sitole, and newly appointed national police commissioner Fannie Masemola," he said.

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