Parliament probe clears Zizi Kodwa of involvement in Phala Phala 'cover-up'

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.
Image: Siphiwe Sibeko

Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI) has cleared deputy state security minister Zizi Kodwa of involvement in “covering up” the Phala Phala robbery.

The committee probed assertions that Kodwa knew about the robbery at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s farm in February 2020, but kept it secret “rather than reporting it to appropriate authorities”.

The committee also looked into allegations that secret crime intelligence funds were used to covertly investigate the robbery, in which it is alleged millions in foreign currency were stolen.

Former spy boss Arthur Fraser said in June that at least $4m (about R65m) was stolen from the Limpopo farm in February 2020. He further alleged that Ramaphosa failed to report the robbery, instead unleashing Maj-Gen Wally Rhoode, head of the presidential protection unit, to investigate and cover it up by, among other things, interrogating and paying off the robbers. 

The JSCI cleared Kodwa, saying “there was no independently verifiable information to support the allegations against Hon NG Kodwa and the use of funds from the Secret Services Account of SAPS-CI”.

Its findings, however, do not affect investigations by other law enforcement agencies, said the committee.

The Phala Phala matter is also being investigated by the public protector, Hawks, SA Revenue Service (Sars) and the Reserve Bank.

“Whilst this matter was considered in line with the relevant legal framework, it however does not have any bearing on any other organ of state currently engaged with the same matter,” the report reads.

“The JSCI’s findings should not be construed as an endorsement or exoneration of any of the affected parties in the Phala Phala game farm theft.”

DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube said the JSCI findings proved its view that only an ad hoc committee could properly investigate the matter. She said there were many aspects which should be investigated by an ad hoc committee, in a similar fashion to the Nkandla scandal.

The JSCI operated in secrecy, she said, and the section 89 committee only focused on Ramaphosa. An ad hoc committee would be able to probe the alleged involvement of the police, intelligence, the president and many other aspects.

Kodwa previously told TimesLIVE he believed the investigation into his alleged role in the Phala Phala farm heist was a “fishing expedition”.

“This is made-up gossip, deliberate diversion, pure fabrication and baseless. I had no prior knowledge of the alleged theft at Phala Phala until it was reported in the media,” he said.


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