South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said money that was stolen from his game farm was obtained legitimately, amid a police investigation into the robbery.
The former head of the State Security Agency, Arthur Fraser, last week alleged that Ramaphosa concealed the theft of more than $4 million from his farm in the northern Limpopo province in February 2020. Ramaphosa’s office on June 2 confirmed the robbery took place and said he reported the matter to the police for investigation.
“Some are casting aspersions about me and money,” Ramaphosa said in remarks posted on his Twitter account. “I want to assure you comrades that all this was money from proceeds from selling animals. I have never stolen money from anywhere, be it from our taxpayers, be it from anyone.”
Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa said in an interview with the state broadcaster that the police are investigation the allegations. Athlenda Mathe, a spokeswoman for the South African Police Service, didn’t immediately respond to a voice mail and a text message requesting comment.
The allegations against Ramaphosa come as the governing African National Congress prepares for its elective conference in December, where the president is likely to seek another five-year term as party leader. Under the ANC’s rules, officials facing criminal charges must vacate their positions until they have been cleared by legal proceedings. Ramaphosa hasn’t been charged with any crime.
Ramaphosa removed Fraser as head of state security in April 2018 after an opposition party laid corruption charges against him. Fraser is seen as an ally of Ramaphosa’s predecessor, Jacob Zuma, who’s nine-year rule was marred by allegations of large-scale state corruption. In September 2021, Fraser granted medical parole to Zuma after he had served less than two months of a 15-month sentence for contempt of court.
Those making the allegations “have their own political agenda and we are all aware of that,” Ramaphosa said. “It will not deter me from fighting corruption.”