South African President Cyril Ramaphosa rubbishes allegations of improper conduct, claims innocence

Edited By: Gandharv Walia
Johannesburg    Updated: Jun 07, 2022, 12:53 PM(IST)

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa rubbishes allegations of improper conduct (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )

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The money, which has been estimated to be $80 million (R1.24 billion), was 'concealed' under mattress and couches at the farm in Bela-Bela, Limpopo, as per reports. According to the allegations made by former spy chief Arthur Fraser, the money was allegedly stolen in February 2020 by five Namibians, who were helped by a domestic worker. The president seems to have not reported the matter to cops and instead allegedly paid the suspects and domestic workers around R150,000 each to not reveal the incident to anyone when they were apprehended

The allegations of corruption are again rife in South Africa. This time, it has hit the President Cyril Ramaphosa badly as reports of large sums of money allegedly being kept in foreign currency at his farm have surfaced, media reports said. In response, the President has rubbished the allegations and said, "Some are casting aspersions about me and money. I want to assure you that all this was money from proceeds from selling animals. I have never stolen money from anywhere. Be it from our taxpayers, be it from anyone. I have never done so. And will never do so." He made the statement while addressing the members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party on Sunday.  

The money, which has been estimated to be $80 million (R1.24 billion), was 'concealed' under mattress and couches at the farm in Bela-Bela, Limpopo, as per reports. According to the allegations made by former spy chief Arthur Fraser, the money was allegedly stolen in February 2020 by five Namibians, who were helped by a domestic worker. The president seems to have not reported the matter to cops and instead allegedly paid the suspects and domestic workers around R150,000 each to not reveal the incident to anyone when they were apprehended.   

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The allegations of improper conduct have also exposed the rift in the ruling party. Fraser claims to have evidence in the form of "photographs, bank accounts, video footage and names" related to wrongdoing like kidnapping of suspects and bribery. He has opened criminal charges against Ramaphosa, Fraser said. A case of money laundering and kidnapping has been registered at the police station in Rosebank, Johannesburg, police spokesperson said in a statement.  

The President's office, in a statement, has also acknowledged that the theft from the farm of Ramaphosa took place. They said he was "not involved in any criminal conduct and once again pledges his full cooperation with any police investigation." At the time of the burglary, the president was out of the country, the spokesperson said.   

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In affidavit to the police, Fraser wrote, “President Ramaphosa instructed Major-General Wally Rhoode, head, Presidential Protection Unit, to investigate the incident immediately, apprehend the suspects, and retrieve the stolen money.”   

(With inputs from agencies) 

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