The ANC has dismissed the DA’s request to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to probe matters relating to the Phala Phala farm robbery as a “cheap publicity stunt.”
In a statement earlier this week, the DA’s John Steenhuisen said he had written to the FBI’s Pretoria Field Office to investigate “allegations of possible money laundering” by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Specifically, we have requested 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,” Steenhuisen said.
However, in a statement on Wednesday (22 June), ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe accused the DA of having a “greater interest in sensationalist headlines than due process.”
“South Africa is a sovereign country with its own constitution, laws, law enforcement agencies and regulatory institutions. It is therefore bizarre that the DA has sought to involve an agency of a foreign state in the investigation of events alleged to have taken place on South African soil,” Mabe said.
“It is unfortunate that the DA has demonstrated such contempt for South Africa’s laws and institutions at a time when great progress is being made, under the leadership of this ANC administration, to restore the credibility, capability and integrity of the country’s law enforcement agencies.”
The matter relates to a criminal case that former State Security Agency boss Arthur Fraser filed against Ramaphosa earlier this month. Fraser accuses Ramaphosa of concealing the theft of allegedly $4 million in cash at his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.
He also accuses the President of kidnapping, bribery and money laundering. Ramaphosa has denied involvement in criminal conduct and has disputed the amount involved, saying it was “far less.”
He has also refused to divulge more information about the incident, but has insisted on due process being followed – a position the ANC shares.
“The ANC reiterates its position that the criminal complaint against President Ramaphosa needs to be thoroughly investigated without fear or favour, and that the due process of law must be allowed to take its course,” Mabe said.
This is the biggest scandal facing the President since he first assumed office in 2018. Speaking during Limpopo’s ANC provincial conference earlier this month, he suggested that it is politically motivated.
Fraser is thought to be an ally of former President Jacob Zuma, whose lieutenants in the ANC are opposed to Ramaphosa’s leadership and are reportedly plotting to prevent him from winning a second term as ANC President later this year.