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If that money was in the wrong place at the wrong time, authorities must intervene: Mantashe on ‘farmgate’

27 June 2022 - 13:30
ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe says action will be taken 'based on evidence, not emotion'. File photo.
ANC national chairperson Gwede Mantashe says action will be taken 'based on evidence, not emotion'. File photo.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER / SUNDAY TIMES

If the money stolen from President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm was at the wrong place at the wrong time, the relevant authorities must deal with the issue, said ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe

Mantashe told journalists on the sidelines of the ANC elective conference in Gauteng that law enforcement, the SA Revenue Service (Sars) and the Reserve Bank should be allowed to investigate and establish whether laws were broken before the ruling party could take any action.

“If that money was found to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, Sars must deal with that issue and we will follow the outcome of that process and take action. In SA, that is not followed. What is expected is ‘fire everybody’. It doesn’t work that way.

“Let’s allow Sars to do its work, let’s allow the Reserve Bank to look into exchange controls. If there was any law broken then we take action based on evidence, not emotion,” said Mantashe. 

He said Ramaphosa is a victim of crime and has not been found to be in the wrong. 

Ramaphosa has been embroiled in controversy after former spy boss Arthur Fraser laid criminal charges against him at the Rosebank police station three weeks ago, emanating “from the theft of millions of US dollars, (reportedly more than $4m) concealed within the premises of the president’s Phala Phala farm in Waterberg by criminals who were [allegedly] colluding with his domestic worker”.

Fraser accused Ramaphosa of concealing the crime from the police and/or Sars and claimed to be in possession of evidence showing how the incident happened in February 2020.

Several political parties and non-governmental organisations have called for Ramaphosa to step down amid the controversy. 

DA leader John Steenhuisen said in a statement on Sunday that he had written to National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula requesting the establishment of an ad hoc committee to investigate the scandal.

Steenhuisen was critical of Ramaphosa, saying parliament must “break his silence.” 

It is clear parliament will not get satisfactory answers directly from the president himself, who has not provided answers to written questions nor answered any questions put to him in the parliamentary debate. If he won’t break his silence, parliament must. It dare not fail the people of SA on Phala Phala as it did with Nkandla.”

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