South Africa

‘Is Reserve Bank implying Ramaphosa is a thief?’- UDM gives bank 7 days to release Phala Phala report

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) has given the SARB seven days to publicise its report clearing President Cyril Ramaphosa of wrongdoing in the 2020 Phala Phala farm scandal.

Releasing the report on Monday, the SARB said the report will not be made available to the public due to “legislative requirements and constraints”.

“The report by the SARB into this matter is a private internal report,” the SARB’s statement reads.

Phala Phala report should be public

However, the UDM says the Phala Phala report is in the interest of the public and should be made public.

“The SARB media statement raises more questions than answers. There are certain established facts in the matter, for instance, there was undeclared foreign cash currency involved, that was stashed in Presidential furniture, which was stolen (with which no buffalo were bought). It is still not clear if the foreign currency was declared with the SARB, within thirty days of entering the country,” said UDM president Bantu Holomisa.

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“Also, if there were no perfected transactions, to who does the foreign currency belong at the time of the theft at Phala Phala? Furthermore, what are the implications of what the SARB is saying in its statement? To whom does the foreign currency belong to now, is the SARB implying that Ramaphosa is a thief, or is he misleading the country?”

The UDM has requested a copy of the SARB’s Phala Phala report.

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“Should the SARB decline to produce its Phala Phala Report in terms of PAIA within seven days of this letter, the UDM reserves the right to other courses of action.”

EFF considering court against SARB

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) also rejected the report.

“The question South Africans should ask themselves is, if there was no ‘perfected’ transaction, then why was the transaction registered in the books of Ntaba Nyoni CC and how did Sars determine that Ntaba Nyoni, which is solely controlled by Ramaphosa, is tax compliant?”

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The party is also considering taking the matter to court “to force the SARB to do its job and not undermine foreign exchange laws”.

The African Transformation Movement (ATM) said the conclusion there was no perfected transaction “appears to be a strained interpretation of the law”.

“This interpretation seemingly seeks to create loopholes in order to shield the president from the consequences of his actions. Such a stance undermines the very essence of regulatory oversight.”