President Cyril Ramaphosa says he is not guilty of any allegations against him regarding his Phala Phala farm saga.
An independent panel established in terms of Section 89 of the Constitution was formed to establish whether Ramaphosa has a case to answer regarding the theft of foreign currency at his Phala Phala farm in 2020. On Wednesday, 30 November, the panel submitted a report to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, which has since been made public.
WHAT WERE THE FINDINGS OF THE SECTION 89 PANEL?
The panel said one of the troubling features about the source of the stolen foreign currency is that the theft was never reported to the South African Police Service (SAPS) for investigations as an ordinary crime. Nor was the theft reported under section34(1) of PRECCA (Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 12 of 2004).
It further said that there is substantial doubt about the legitimacy of the source of the currency that was stolen and that this is a serious matter which if established, renders the violation of section 96 of the Constitution and PRECCA, a serious violation, and a serious misconduct.
The panel said that the information presented to it, prima facie, establishes that:
There was a deliberate intention not to investigate the commission of the crimes committed at Phala Phala openly.
The misconduct based on violations of the provisions of section 96(2)(b) and the violation of section34(1) of PRECCA were committed to keep the investigation a secret.
The request to the Namibian Police to “handle the matter with discretion” cofnrims this intention.
Ramaphosa abused his position as Head of State to have the matter investigated and seeking the assistance of the Namibian President to apprehend a suspect.
There was more foreign currency concealed in the sofa than the amount reflected in the acknowledgement of receipt. This raises the source of additional currency.
RAMAPHOSA PLEADS INNOCENCE REGARDING PHALA PHALA
Following the release of the report, which found that Ramaphosa has a case to answer regarding the theft of foreign currency, the Presidency said that according to the rules of the National Assembly, the NA needs to consider the report and determine the most appropriate way forward.
Spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said the S89 process had presented an unprecedented and extraordinary moment for South Africa’s constitutional democracy.
Magwenya said the panel’s conclusions require careful reading and appropriate consideration in the interest of the stability of the government and that of the country.
President Ramaphosa has reiterated the statement he made in his submission to the independent panel.
“I have endeavoured, throughout my tenure as President, not only to abide by my oath but to set an example of respect for the Constitution, for its institutions, for due process and the law. I categorically deny that I have violated this oath in any way, and I similarly deny that I am guilty of any of the allegations made against me.”
“The President is giving consideration to the report, and an announcement will be made in due course,” Magwenya added.