LISTEN | 'Police must investigate without fear or favour': Ramaphosa on 'farmgate'
President Cyril Ramaphosa says he will not interfere with the investigation into the robbery at his Phala Phala farm in 2020.
“We want the police to investigate whatever crime, whoever it is against, without any fear, without favour and on an impartial basis,” said Ramaphosa on Friday.
Briefing the media after replying to his presidency budget vote in parliament, Ramaphosa said if he were to step aside as the head of state on that account, “then it basically means that I am confirming that I interfere in the investigative processes. Which I must say, I don’t.”
He said were he to interfere, he would be undermining the work of law enforcement officers.
“It would be demeaning to those officials who work in those structures because it would mean that they are not able to do their work on an independent basis, and it actually just destroys their own confidence because they will forever be fearing that they may not follow things up properly because so and so is involved.”
Ramaphosa, who has shied away from answering questions relating to the robbery, said those investigating should be allowed to work “freely” on the matter and “expect that they will act as fairly as possible”.
His go-to answer when quizzed about the farm was that he was going to follow due processes.
When asked whether he was placing the ANC ahead of his citizens by opting to answer to the integrity commission before coming clean to South Africans, he said: “I don’t think that one should necessarily see it that way.
“One should see it in a way that the ANC, which is the party that deployed me and the work that I do, has a formal structure, which in terms of the conference which has given me the marching orders in terms of the work that I do, I have to go and explain myself to. I do not think that one should think of it as an either/or type of situation.
“The one is not more important that the other. It is just that there is a formalised process that I need to follow and in time, all of that will be put forward,” he added.
“I am a process person, the process must unfold. What I will say is that if I were to be charged, yes, the processes in the governing party have to unfold in the ANC. As you well know I have offered to go myself on a voluntary basis to the integrity commission and I will be seeing them on a date that is yet to be set.”
Ramaphosa said he felt that way after the 54th conference where it was said that “if there are allegations against all of us, we should present ourselves to the integrity commission and not wait to be called and I have opted not to be called and to go there up front.
“I am not going to run away to some place and not be available in time to respond to whatever issues that you may want to put but I would like due processes to unfold.”
Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.
Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.
Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.