‘Reserve Bank must clarify its statement on Phala Phala’

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The South African Council of Churches (SACC) says the South African Reserve Bank’s statement on the Phala Phala investigation into alleged contravention of foreign exchange controls raises confusion and more questions than answers.

The Reserve Bank cleared President Cyril Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing in its investigation into undisclosed foreign currency stolen from his Phala Phala farm in 2020.

In a statement, the Bank said due to legislative requirements and constraints, the report into the matter is private and internal, and will not be made available to the public.

The statement also said, “There was no perfected transaction and thus the Reserve Bank cannot conclude that there was any contravention of the Exchange Control.”

The  SACC says it would be in the best interest of both the public and Ramaphosa for the Bank to give clarity on its investigation and how it arrived at its conclusion.

It says if the report cannot be made public immediately, the bank should brief Parliament soon.

SACC General Secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana says, “It is more confusing in that the report suggests in its  conclusion that the President’s company had no legal entitlement in terms of the regulations to the foreign currency. Then whose money would this have been? Who was entitled to it?”

“Does the word entitlement have a different technical meaning in the SARB regulations? How did the money get there to which no one is entitled?  The report does not reassure us that there is proper paper trail to support the origins and the intended use of these said funds. Can anyone keep any amount of money for any length of time with no expectation? When should this currency be declared using the appropriate channels?”

VIDEO:  Interview with SACC General Secretary Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana on SARB’s Phala Phala report: