The Democratic Alliance says it has asked the United States’ federal bureau of investigations (FBI) to investigate allegations of possible money laundering by president Cyril Ramaphosa in connection with the Phala Phala game farm saga.
About three weeks ago, former state security director-general Arthur Fraser laid a criminal complaint against the president, claiming Ramaphosa concealed from authorities a theft of millions of US dollars at his Phala Phala game farm in Limpopo in 2020.
Charges include defeating the ends of justice and kidnapping of suspects.
Ramaphosa has refused to divulge details of the incident, saying the investigation must be allowed to run its course.
Meanwhile, in a media statement released earlier today, the DA says it has requested, through the field office in Pretoria, 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 $4 million 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.”
In addition to writing to the South African Reserve Bank and Sars requesting investigations into the allegations and calling on the president to come clean, the DA says it has taken nine more steps to ensure Ramaphosa is held accountable.
These include writing to the FBI, the financial intelligence centre, the tax fraud department at Sars, secretary of cabinet, the public protector, parliament’s committee on justice and correctional services, the national police commissioner, parliament’s committee on police and the minister of public works, calling for investigations, sight of the president’s declaration of financial interests, and explanations from top government officials.
The party says Ramaphosa faces serious allegations that “will continue to do enormous damage to our economy and our prospects for attracting investment and creating jobs, as well as to the credibility of the office of the presidency and the police and justice system.
“As the opposition, we have a duty to uphold the Constitution and its principles of equality before the law and accountability.”