Political parties grapple with implications of SARB’s report

The Reserve Bank’s findings regarding the Phala Phala investigation have sparked controversy, with doubts being raised about its credibility and trustworthiness.

The report, published on Monday, cleared President Cyril Ramaphosa of any misconduct linked to the theft of foreign currency worth millions of rands from his farm in 2020.

However, political parties including the EFF and ActionSA have dismissed the report’s conclusions and declared plans to contest it.

“We firmly believe the SARB [South African Reserve Bank] investigation is another attempt to cover up president Ramaphosa’s involvement in the burglary,” said ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba, expressing skepticism.

He raised questions about how such a substantial sum of money could be hidden without raising suspicions from financial agencies, stating that his party is dismayed by SARB’s governor Lesetja Kganyago’s decision to keep the Phala Phala report private.

Mashaba called for accountability asserting that no individual, including the president, should be exempted from scrutiny.

“Ramaphosa cannot receive special treatment simply because he is the president of the country. [We] will keep working to ensure [that] he is held accountable,” said Mashaba.

The EFF has joined a chorus of dissent.

Party spokesperson Sinawo Thambo challenged the central bank’s assertion that there was “no perfected transaction”, arguing that this does not absolve Ramaphosa of potential tax evasion and money-laundering.

Thambo questioned the presence of foreign currency at Phala Phala and its purpose, if no finalised transaction took place.

He accused the Reserve Bank of protecting the president at the expense of struggling middle-class citizens and pledged to challenge the alleged imbalances in court.

“Our foreign exchange laws must not be abused in an attempt to protect Ramaphosa from prosecution simply because the establishment prefers him,” Thambo said.

“They are able to carry out their destructive policy that seeks to maintain high levels of poverty, inequality, and unemployment.

“Furthermore, the financial sector continues to enjoy unearned profits on the back of struggling middle class who continue to lose livelihoods and properties.

“The EFF will, therefore, seek legal advice to consider taking the matter to court to force the SARB to do its job and not undermine foreign exchange laws.”


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