Phala Phala: Mbalula says Ramaphosa will step aside if adverse findings are made

Public Protector, advocate Kholeka Gcaleka cleared President Cyril Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing in the Phala Phala farm scandal. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Public Protector, advocate Kholeka Gcaleka cleared President Cyril Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing in the Phala Phala farm scandal. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Jun 22, 2023


Pretoria - President Cyril Ramaphosa would not cling to power if adverse findings were made against him in the ongoing multiple investigations around the Phala Phala scandal, so says Fikile Mbalula, the secretary-general of the ANC.

Mbalula was speaking on Thursday during a press conference from Luthuli House.

“If they (institutions probing Ramaphosa) release adverse findings against the president, the ANC will not run short of the alternative,” Mbalula said in an interview with broadcaster Newzroom Afrika.

“I am saying, the ANC will not run short of the alternative if the results of those commissions or law enforcement (agencies) are adverse on the president. The ANC has got to act on that, and the ANC will act,” he said.

Mbalula said the ANC would not be short of an alternative to represent the governing party in the tightly-contested 2024 general elections if Ramaphosa had to step aside.

“If they (the findings) are adverse on him and it requires that he must step aside, he will do so”.

ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula. File Picture: Timothy Bernard African News Agency (ANA)

“Ramaphosa has never clung to power. He has never had difficulties, even of exploring that particular decision if anything of that sort comes up. But he has said he is innocent and nothing wrong has actually happened in terms of Phala Phala,” Mbalula added.

“Allow the processes to come to their finality, and not one at the expense of the other. All of them,” he said.

In March, in a preliminary report, acting Public Protector, advocate Kholeka Gcaleka cleared Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing in the Phala Phala farm scandal.

Gcaleka has sent her report to affected parties after she did not find any wrongdoing against Ramaphosa. The Office of the Public Protector confirmed that it sent the preliminary report to affected parties.

The full report has yet to be published.

“The notice encloses the preliminary findings of the Public Protector and provides recipients with an opportunity to respond to the public protector’s preliminary findings.

“The affected and implicated parties, persons have been afforded 10 calendar days to make representations to the public protector,” it said at the time.

At the time, Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said they had received the prelimiary report. Magwenya highlighted that Ramaphosa had always insisted that he did not breach the oath of his office on the Phala Phala matter.

SA Reserve Bank (SARB) Governor Lesetja Kganyago has previously indicated that the central bank was also probing Ramaphosa over the Phala Phala farm scandal.

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has now confirmed it had no record of the US dollars concealed in couches at Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm, while the Hawks appear to be nowhere near completing their investigations into the matter.

In March, asked about the progress of their investigations announced nearly a year ago, Hawks spokesperson Thandi Mbambo only said all investigations pertaining to Phala Phala “are still ongoing”.

Ramaphosa has been facing mounting pressure to resign after it came to light that he may have attempted to help conceal a crime that saw millions of US dollars stolen from his property.

The theft was not reported to the police at the time.

This information came to light after former State Security boss Arthur Fraser lodged a complaint against Ramaphosa in June last year, alleging money laundering, kidnapping and torture.

This, after the suspects were allegedly traced to Milnerton, using a bogus drug case.

Fraser claimed the suspects, mostly Namibians, were also paid for their silence for the 2020 break-in.

Ramaphosa confirmed that he had received US$580,000 from a Sudanese national as payment for cattle in a legitimate business transaction. There is still no clarity on why the cattle were never collected.

ATM President Vuyo Zungula. File Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

The ATM, which called for the establishment of the Section 89 panel in Parliament, accused Ramaphosa of “stealing from the poor”.