President Ramaphosa committed to cooperate with authorities in Phala Phala matter

Friday, March 24, 2023

Government has reiterated that law enforcement institutions investigating the alleged theft of foreign currency at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm must be allowed to complete their investigations, says Deputy President Paul Mashatile.

The Deputy President who was responding to oral questions in the National Assembly for the first time since his appointment in March, took the opportunity to reiterate government support for the institutions investigating the matter.

“They must be allowed to complete their work,” he said on Thursday.

He told Parliament that the President has expressed his commitment to cooperate fully with all investigations.

“The government supports this position without reservation. Given the fact that investigations are still ongoing, it would be ill-advised to opine on whether or not the government’s efforts to combat crime and corruption have been undermined. We simply do not have sufficient information to reach informed conclusions at this stage,” he added. 

The Public Protector, Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka, has cleared President Ramaphosa of wrongdoing, finding that he appropriately declared interests in farming.

According to the Public Protector’s findings, the President fulfilled his obligations to declare his interest in his farms and report the matter to the police.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Member of Parliament Veronica Mente had asked Mashatile if unanswered questions on the matter undermine the government’s efforts to combat crime and corruption.

Responding, Mashatile said one crucial issue stands out and merits mentioning even at this stage.

“The fact that public institutions can, without let or hindrance, investigate the affairs of no less a figure than the President of the Republic speaks volumes about the strength of our democracy.

“The government remains committed to fighting crime and corruption. As honourable members are aware, the Phala Phala matter is being probed by more than one public agency following the break-in and theft at the President’s Phala Phala farm,” he said. –