Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema has demanded that President Cyril Ramaphosa step aside immediately after allegations that he concealed the theft of $4-million from his Phala Phala game farm in Limpopo in February 2020.
During a news conference on Tuesday, Malema slammed Ramaphosa as a “hypocrite” with “double personalities” and said he should be investigated for corruption, money laundering, racketeering and fraud in relation to the theft at his farm.
“Ramaphosa and his handlers involved in the game farming industry are illegally transacting in foreign currency and in cash. Moreover, there is no record of these transactions, and the laws regarding limits on foreign currency are disregarded,” he alleged.
Malema also accused Ramaphosa of defeating the ends of justice by allegedly applying vigilante methods of interrogation against those suspected to be responsible for the theft. He claimed the president had allowed bodyguards to enter his home and torture one of his employees who was allegedly involved in the theft.
“No one has the right to abduct, detain, and interrogate those who are alleged to have committed crimes against them and Ramaphosa did this without the supervision of any competent law enforcement agency, leaving us to believe that these individuals were not only bribed but also tortured,” Malema said.
Former spy boss and prison head Arthur Fraser has opened a case of corruption, money laundering and kidnapping against the president, claiming that Ramaphosa concealed the robbery from the police and paid bribes to keep the alleged beating and interrogation of suspects involved in the theft secret.
Ramaphosa has refuted these allegations, with his office saying in a 2 June statement:
“President Ramaphosa is clear that there is no basis for the claims of criminal conduct that have been made against him in Mr Fraser’s statement.”
On Tuesday, Malema also accused Ramaphosa of collaborating with Namibia’s to find the suspects responsible for the theft and to conceal his alleged money laundering.
“We are even more concerned with the collaboration between Ramaphosa and the president of Namibia, Hage Geingob, which saw Ramaphosa unleash his personal thugs to track down suspects in Namibia, after the robbery on his farm,” he said.
“We are not factionalists of any political organisation, who can be bought with illegal money into silence. Enough is enough, Ramaphosa must step aside.”
Reports say the suspects in the February 2020 theft at the game farm, who allegedly colluded with Ramaphosa’s domestic worker, were Namibian and fled home afterwards. At the weekend, the Windhoek-based The Namibian newspaper said Ramaphosa had called on Geingob for help in finding the alleged thieves.