Phala Phala farm dollars were security deposit for buffalos: Kganyago

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Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago has detailed how the $580 000 ended up at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm on Christmas day in 2019.

Briefing Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance on Wednesday, he says the information and evidence collected by the Bank’s Financial Surveillance department revealed that the money was used as a guarantee to secure the buffalos.

The foreign currency was received by Acting Manager of the Phala Phala Lodge Sylvester Ndlovu from Sudanese businessman and buyer, Hazim Mustafa.

Kganyago says the investigators revealed that Ramaphosa earlier had a discussion with Phala Phala Wild Life farm Manager Hendrik von Wielligh, indicating that he wanted certain lower quality buffalo in Camp Six to be sold.

“On the 25th of December 2019, Mr  Hazim arrived at the Phala Phala farm and on Mr Hazim’s version, he identified  20 buffalos that he was happy with. Mr (Sylvester) Ndlovu advised him that the price per buffalo  was  R 400 000. Mr Hasim considered the amount to be  reasonable. In order to secure the 20 buffalos  that he was interested in in, he gave $580 000 to Mr Ndlovu. On Mr Hazim’s version, he gave the $580 000 as security deposit. It would  be used as payment for the buffalos only once he has secured and relate that information to Phala Phala Wildlife.”

VIDEO: SABC News Reporter Lulama Matya on Reserve Bank Governor briefing Parliament on Phala Phala saga: