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ANC Welcomes SARB Report Clearing President Ramaphosa in Phala Phala Farm Investigation

The African National Congress (ANC) has publically lauded the South African Reserve Bank’s (SARB) recent findings related to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala private farm. In a formal statement, ANC National Spokesperson Mahlengi Bhengu-Motsiri declared the party’s contentment with SARB’s unambiguous determination that President Ramaphosa did not breach any exchange control regulations.

“The ANC expresses its satisfaction with this conclusion and anticipates that all baseless accusations will be dispelled,” noted Bhengu-Motsiri. “The process followed by subsequent findings by the Reserve Bank vindicates our view that South Africa is a robust democracy with resilient oversight and regulatory institutions.”

Read also: ANC Secretary-General Addresses Zuma’s Departure: Party Not Quick to Expel

Investigation by SARB into Phala Phala Affair Concluded

On August 14, 2023, the South African Reserve Bank, led by Governor Lesetja Kganyago, released a report concluding its inquiry into accusations levelled against President Ramaphosa. The investigation followed a 2022 complaint by the former spy boss Arthur and various parties, including political entities. The accusations had been of serious import, alleging that Ramaphosa was involved in misappropriation of an undisclosed sum.

Details of SARB’s Findings

According to SARB, the allegations could not be substantiated. The bank indicated that the transaction under scrutiny was subject to conditions that were not fulfilled. Consequently, SARB couldn’t establish any contravention of the Exchange Control Regulations by either Ntaba Nyoni Estates CC, the entity in question, or the President.

Furthermore, SARB noted that it found no evidence indicating that any payments made in 2019 to Ramaphosa’s farm manager were unreported upon entering South Africa. It also concluded that Ramaphosa’s tax affairs, including those of his Ntaba Nyoni Estate—under which Phala Phala falls—were in compliance with the tax laws.

Context of the Phala Phala Affair

For those who might wonder about the backdrop of these investigations, it’s important to note that Ramaphosa had been accused by critics of corruption and money laundering related to his Phala Phala farm. It was alleged that Sudanese billionaire Hazim Mustafa sent Ramaphosa’s farm manager US$580,000 in cash intended for the purchase of buffalo. The President has not collected or received the money.

Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka, the interim public protector, had already cleared Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing in June. Additionally, a parliamentary panel had initially suggested that a case for impeachment could be established against the President, but this was overruled by the ANC using its legislative majority.

The ANC’s affirmation of the Reserve Bank’s findings is a testament to the checks and balances within the South African governance structure. Whether this will significantly influence public opinion or put to rest political unrest around the President remains a narrative yet to be fully written.

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