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Justice and Correctional Services Ministry, says there is no official record of a request from the Namibian Police Force regarding Phala Phala farm investigation

Phala Phala farm, the residence of President Cyril Ramaphosa and scene of the Dollargate scandal. Image: File

Phala Phala farm, the residence of President Cyril Ramaphosa and scene of the Dollargate scandal. Image: File

Published Jun 21, 2022

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The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services said there is no record of request from the Namibian Police Force in relation to the robbery at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farms investigation.

On Tuesday the ministry said it has closely followed media reports and a statement by the Namibian Police Force concerning a request for mutual legal assistance in respect of a suspect by the name of David Imanuwela.

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Three weeks ago, the robbery came to light when former state security Director-General, Arthur Fraser, opened a criminal case against Ramaphosa and the head of the Presidential Protection Unit, Wally Rhoode, at Rosebank Police Station in Johannesburg.

In his affidavit, Fraser accused Ramaphosa of failing to report the robbery at any police station and instead asked Rhoode to trace the robbers and retrieve their loot. Fraser claims the five robbers were tracked and apprehended and allegedly tortured to reveal where they had stashed the stolen money.

Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said at the outset, it should be noted that the established procedures for serving requests for mutual legal assistance are as follows:

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“Service Process 1 - The requesting State submits the request at the South African Embassy or High Commission in that particular State. The South African Embassy or High Commission would then submit the request to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation. DIRCO then provides a proof of receipt and then transmits the request to the Central Authority, being the Director-General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

“Service Process 2 - Alternatively, the requesting State can serve the request for mutual legal assistance via its Embassy or High Commission in the State from which it seeks information or assistance. The requesting States Embassy or High Commission will serve the request on DIRCO. DIRCO then provides proof of receipt and transmits the request to the Central Authority”.

Phiri said when reference is made to diplomatic channels, these are the processes that are being referred to.

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“We can confirm that, to date, all requests for mutual legal assistance have followed these processes without any complications between the two states Namibia and South Africa,” added Phiri.

Phiri further said “We can categorically state that, to date, there is no official record of this specific request”.

He said South Africa and Namibia continue to work together in a collaborative manner on issues of mutual legal assistance in accordance with the Southern African Development Community Protocol and other related bilateral treaties.

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“So far there has not been any development that necessitates any change of approach when dealing with matters of this nature,”. Phiri said.

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