We were not given all information available on the Phala Phala issue: Section 89 Panel

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The Section 89 Panel has raised concerns that it was not given all the information available on the Phala Phala issue.

It says it relied on information from the African Transformation Movement (ATM), Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), United Democratic Movement (UDM) and President Cyril Ramaphosa as well as police reports, press statements and unnamed sources.

It has questioned why a number of institutions said to be investigating the theft at the President’s farm in Limpopo did not furnish it with the outcomes of their probes.

The panel says that President Ramaphosa indicated to it that about eight institutions are investigating the Phala Phala issue and yet it was not furnished with reports on these investigations.

These include a probe by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) launched in June of 2022.

The panel says it believes that the truth of what really happened lies beneath the unanswered questions following from the information it has been provided with.

It says it has made its recommendations based on the facts that are undisputed and the probalilities that certain events occurred.

The Hawks and the Public Protector are amongst the institutions that are currently investigating the matter.

Section 89 Panel Report | Prof Richard Calland weighs in:

Meanwhile, the EFF has accused law enforcement agencies in the country of deliberately orchestrating a cover-up in the Phala Phala scandal involving President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The party says the Acting Public Protector, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the South African Reserve Bank have remained mum on the saga.

Earlier this year, the EFF marched to Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka’s offices in Pretoria to demand that she release the report into the saga 30 days after the former State Security Agency director-general, Arthur Fraser’s initial complaint in accordance with the Executive Members Ethics Act.

The Reserve Bank Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, says he had requested to be furnished with information on the theft of foreign currency from the President’s farm in 2020 after appearing before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Finance.

EFF national spokesperson Sinawo Tambo, says the Section 89 Independent Panel has exposed the law enforcement agencies.

“The acting Public Protector who was put in place after the [suspended] Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane instituted investigations into Phala Phala farm has still not released a report. Not even a preliminary report into what happened in Phala Phala farm. It’s been almost 150 days since she was mandated to or required to by the laws that govern…”

“The NPA is not communicating in terms of the progress it has made. The South African Police Service (SAPS) is not communicating, the South African Reserve Bank is not communicating [its] findings. The South African Revenue Service is not communicating [its] findings. So this independent panel, which was given its work recently, has exposed that there is a deliberate coverup which is being orchestrated within law enforcement agencies in South Africa,” adds Tambo.

The report of the Section 89 Panel, which was tasked with determining whether there is sufficient evidence to impeach the president has found that President Ramaphosa may have a case to answer to Parliament.

The video is the full intervew with Sinawo Tambo:

Earlier, Section 89 Panel said the question that President Cyril Ramaphosa must still answer is why animals have remained at his Phala Phala farm in Limpopo two years after receiving more than half a million rand from the sale of 20 buffalo.

According to Ramaphosa, Sudanese businessman Mustafa Hazim bought the buffalo.

The panel is still trying to verify Hazim’s identity.

Ramaphosa said that the animals remained on the farm due to high costs of administration and facilitation of exporting them.

The panel has raised doubts on the transaction particularly as there are no affidavits from either Hazim or the lodge manager who is said to have recieved the money.

The panel has concluded that there is prima facie evidence that Ramaphosa may have violated the constitution in his conduct related to the robbery of money from his farm.

Parliamentary panel finds Ramaphosa ‘has a case to answer on Phala Phala’