President Cyril Ramaphosa remains tight-lipped on the details of the robbery. Photo by Jaco Marais / Gallo Images

By Staff Reporters

And the ATM is deeply worried the Phala Phala probe may be stymied…

The African Transformation Movement (ATM) says its push to have police conduct in the handling of the theft at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s farm probed, is being brushed aside to protect an “elusive” president. In June, the party wrote to the Public Protector (PP) to probe Ramaphosa. Suspended PP Busisiwe Mkhwebane commenced the investigations and was summarily suspended by Ramaphosa within hours before the Western Cape High Court was to rule on the legality of Ramaphosa’s intentions to suspend her. The party also requested the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) boss Jennifer Ntlatseng to investigate police officers who are alleged to have gone to Namibia to trace individuals suspected of breaking into Ramaphosa’s farm.
The movement said it was concerned how both the Ipid and the PP were dragging their feet in probing the matter while Ramaphosa was “now attending every other meeting or summit outside the country in order to avoid facing his woes in the country.”
ATM says it has been told by Ipid to submit a sworn statement for the police watchdog body to investigate the President’s stolen millions of dollars.
The PP has entered into an agreement with the president; granting him and extension to respond to the 30 questions sent to him by Adv. Mkhwebane before her suspension.
In a statement issued on Friday 1 July, ATM said it was dismayed by the “secret deal” entered into by the Acting Public Protector, Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka and the President.
ATM spokesperson, Sibusiso Mncwabe said the ATM should have been the first to be briefed by Advocate Gcaleka before making the deal.
The public protector’s office issued a statement issued on Friday 1 July, in which it said: “The institution wishes to take the opportunity to inform the public that the investigation concerned remains on track. Thus far, a total of four complaints have been received.
Two were lodged in terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act (EMEA) while the rest were lodged under the Public Protector Act.
“Following a letter written to him for a response to the allegations, the President, through his attorneys, requested an extension of the initial return date of 22 June 2022.

“Upon a careful consideration of the request, which was brought to Acting Public Protector Adv. Kholeka
Gcaleka’s attention by the investigation officer for approval, it was acceded to.
“It must be noted that requests such as the President’s, are quite common where the PPSA’s investigative work is concerned. In fact, the President made a similar request in respect of a previous EMEA investigation (Bosasa) and that request was also acceded to. 
“Decisions to accede to such requests are always informed by a careful consideration of the reasons advanced by respondents, the need on the part of the PPSA to be fair to respondents and the amount of information requested from the respondents.”

Dubious deal
“Advocate Gcaleka entered into a private deal with a suspect – President Cyril Ramaphosa, this alone is reason enough for the president to step aside to allow himself time to respond to all the alleged criminal and unethical conduct.
“The ATM wishes to remind the Acting Public Protector that in the absence of the Public Protector, Adv. Mkhwebane, she has a duty to protect the people of South African, not Ramaphosa.
“The ATM shudders to think what will happen to the investigation by Ramaphosa’s subordinates, including Commissioner of SAPS, Commissioner of SARS among others, if he can strike extension deals with the Acting Public Protector, Adv. Gcaleka. This private deal goes a long way to explain the hurried and premature suspension of the Public Protector, Adv. Mkhwebane,” Mncwabe said.

Police playing hide and seek
Meanwhile, the police are sticking to their guns.
The Ministry and the office of the National Commissioner told The Telegram that there was nothing untoward in their investigation into the robbery at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm.
Minister of Police spokesperson Lirandzu Themba said: “Minister Bheki Cele is on record to say he had no knowledge of this incident.”
Colonel Athlenda Mathe, spokesperson for the National Commissioner, General Fannie Masemola also washed his hands saying; “the National Commissioner wishes not to be drawn into commenting into an active investigation which is currently being conducted by the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigations (DPCI).
“The National Commissioner is therefore requesting that the investigators on this case be afforded the opportunity to do their work without any interference.”
Complicit and possible cover up by police of the unreported theft of Phala-Phala millions has dominated the news since former spy boss Arthur Fraser laid a criminal case against Ramaphosa for failing to report the robbery as required by law on June 1 2022. Fraser alleged Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in Waterberg, Limpopo was robbed of more than US$4 million in February 2020.
This was done in collusion with his domestic worker. He further alleged that Ramaphosa was involved in defeating the ends of justice, kidnapping of suspects, interrogating and bribing them and thereafter concealing the crime from the police.
Former national police commissioner Khehla Sitole has pointed an accusing finger at the current national police commissioner, Gen Fannie Masemola saying he should have known about the theft of money from President’s farm.
Sitole said if there was a security breach on the president, property, the law said that there should be two reports; one from the local police station and another from the head of the Presidential Protection Unit Major General Wally Rhoode. He said that Masemola was in charge of operations and should have known about the incident. According to Namibian media reports, the Namibian Police confirmed the arrest of one of the suspects named by Fraser in affidavit Imanuwela David. It is claimed that their South African counterparts were not cooperating with them in the investigation of the robbery.
They are said to have made a formal request to South Africa to confirm whether a crime had been
registered in South Africa but there was no assistance.
ATM president Vuyo Zungula has called on law enforcement authorities to suspend all police officers allegedly implicated in Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm saga because police were seemingly covering up.
Zungula cited leaked reports that Namibian police were in contact with South African officers, including Masemola and Sitole, following the burglary and theft, and that they were involved in “some secretive and off-the-books investigation.”
Ramaphosa remained tight-lipped about the details of the robbery. He last spoke on the matter when he told journalists following his reply to the Presidency budget vote speech that he will wait for “due process” to be completed before replying to any media enquiries.

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