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UDM threatens legal action over access to Reserve Bank’s Phala Phala report

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has written to SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago, pictured, requesting for a copy of the bank's Phala Phala investigation.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has written to SA Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago, pictured, requesting for a copy of the bank's Phala Phala investigation.
Image: Freddy Mavunda

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has threatened legal action against the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) should it reject the party’s request for a copy of the Phala Phala scandal investigation report within seven days.

This week the Reserve Bank issued a statement on its investigation findings on whether President Cyril Ramaphosa flouted foreign-exchange control laws, after millions of US dollars were stolen from his Phala Phala game farm in Limpopo in February 2020.

The Bank said it could not find whether Ramaphosa contravened the control regulations, citing the sale of buffaloes in question was not a “perfected transaction”.

Speaking to TimesLIVE, Holomisa said the statement from the Bank was not enough and there were too many unanswered questions.

To whom does the foreign currency belong to now? Is the Sarb implying President Ramaphosa is a thief or is he misleading the country?
Bantu Holomisa

“The Bank’s Phala Phala report is in the interest of the public. We disagree with them there are confidential parts of the report, on what basis? We are talking about investigating a crime. 

“They have failed to do the work they needed to do on whether Ramaphosa declared the foreign currency or not. After a year and a half of investigations, they could not answer that,” he said. 

Holomisa said a secretive culture in public and private bodies often led to an abuse of power.   

“There was undeclared foreign cash currency involved, stashed in furniture, which was stolen (with which no buffalo were bought). It is still not clear if the foreign currency was declared with the Sarb within 30 days of entering the country.

“If there were no perfected transactions, to whom did the foreign currency belong to at the time of the theft at Phala Phala? Furthermore, what are the implications of what the Sarb is saying in its statement? To whom does the foreign currency belong to now? Is the Sarb implying President Ramaphosa is a thief or is he misleading the country?”

Holomisa wrote to the Bank’s governor Lesetja Kganyago requesting a copy of the report, saying this would foster a culture of transparency and accountability.

The EFF said it was seeking legal advice to consider challenging the report.


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