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DA asks FBI to investigate 'money laundering' at Ramaphosa's farm

Nomazima Nkosi Senior reporter
DA leader John Steenhuisen. File photo.
DA leader John Steenhuisen. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

The DA says it wants the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate allegations of possible money laundering against President Cyril Ramaphosa.

This after millions of dollars were stolen from Ramaphosa's Phala Phala game farm in February 2020.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, DA leader John Steenhuisen announced the party had written to the FBI Pretoria field office to investigate allegations of possible money laundering and the source of the US currency that was stolen from Ramaphosa's property.

“We have requested that the FBI considers investigating the source of the funds and whether the money was brought into South Africa legitimately and declared to the appropriate authorities.

“We have recommended that the ledgers or journals which would have recorded the alleged sale of wild game at auction be requested from the president, to determine the identities of those involved in the suspicious cash transactions.

“A cash transaction within South Africa involving $4m is deeply suspicious, and more so since the cash was then hidden in furniture, and its theft was investigated off the record and covered up,” Steenhuisen said.

It is alleged that at least five suspects broke into Ramaphosa’s Limpopo farm in February 2020 and stole the money.

Ramaphosa has confirmed the robbery but said the amount stolen was far less. However, he did not go into detail, saying the matter was still under investigation.

The DA said it has also written to the Financial Intelligence Centre requesting that it investigate the various alleged financial transactions that followed the theft, written to acting public protector Adv Kholeka Gcaleka, to lay a formal complaint in terms of the Executive Members Ethics Act and also asking the South African Reserve Bank to investigate these allegations.

Steenhuisen said SA was no closer to receiving any indication from Ramaphosa regarding his version of events and to hear his side of the story because he's adopted the “ongoing investigation” approach to avoid answering tough questions.

“There are serious questions he needs to answer. He’s not a corporate head. This is the president of the Republic of SA. This is the same president who raised his hand and swore to protect the constitution. It’s clear he’s violated these rules.

“Like we pursued Mr Jacob Zuma, we need to ensure that pressure is kept up. Just because he’s the ANC’s preferred presidential candidate, it shouldn’t matter but [to] stick to oath of office he swore to uphold,” he said.

Steenhuisen said the country was in absolute crisis with food prices spiralling out of control, with the petrol price going through the roof and an inflation crisis, an electricity crisis and now credibility crisis in the government.

“We need a president whose full-time attention is focused on the people of South Africa in getting us through the hard time we’re facing. Not a president with one eye on his farm, one eye on his dollars and one eye on the work of the president of the Republic of South Africa.”

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