Parliament orders probe into Zizi Kodwa's role in Phala Phala robbery

Deputy state security minister Zizi Kodwa, right, and President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Deputy state security minister Zizi Kodwa, right, and President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.

Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI) is due to probe the alleged role of deputy state security minister Zizi Kodwa in the Phala Phala farm robbery.

The committee will also investigate allegations that secret crime intelligence funds were used to covertly investigate the robbery that took place at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s farm in February 2020.

This is contained in a letter from National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to  JSCI chairperson Jerome Maake last Friday. The JSCI is constitutionally mandated to conduct oversight on the affairs and conduct of the country’s intelligence structures.

The allegation against Kodwa is that he knew about the robbery but kept it secret “rather than reporting it to appropriate authorities”.

“It has also been alleged that Kodwa accompanied Maj-Gen Wally Rhoode, the head of the presidential protection unit during secret interactions between the South African and Namibian authorities,” Mapisa-Nqakula writes.

Former spy boss Arthur Fraser alleged in June that at least $4m (about R65m) was stolen from Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in Limpopo in February 2020.

He further alleged that Ramaphosa failed to report this robbery and instead unleashed Rhoode to investigate and cover it up by, among others, interrogating and paying off the alleged robbers. 

The allegations threaten Ramaphosa’s bid to secure a second term as ANC president when the party holds its conference in December.

Should these allegations be true, Mapisa-Nqakula said, they would “constitute a flagrant abuse of our taxpayers' money”.

Sunday Times reported at the weekend that it took Ramaphosa almost a month to inform Rhoode, his head of security, that money had been stolen during the robbery.

Rhoode, in a statement to the public protector, said although Ramaphosa informed him of the robbery a day after it happened, he only revealed to him a month later that money had been stolen.


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