The African Transformation Movement (ATM) has criticised the SA Revenue Service (Sars) for its failure to hold President Cyril Ramaphosa accountable in the Phala Phala farmgate scandal.
This after Sars opened a criminal charge against Hazim Mustafa, the man who Ramaphosa claimed handed over $580 000 (R10.8-million at the time) in cash to his farm manager in December 2019.
The ATM said the taxman’s focus on Mustafa indicates “selective enforcement” of the law.
The party expressed concern about the credibility of the investigations in this matter, questioning the impartiality of institutions like Sars and the Office of the Public Protector.
Credibility of investigations
“This double standard not only undermines the credibility of the investigation but also erodes the public’s trust in the impartiality of our institutions,” the party said.
“Adding to the irony is Sars‘ statement confirming that Ntaba Nyoni Estates and Ntaba Nyoni Feedlot, the corporate entities managing Ramaphosa’s farms, had undergone audits, with both companies’ tax affairs declared to be in order.
“Now, the sudden shift towards arresting the buyer raises serious questions about the consistency and integrity of Sars’ actions.”
The heart of the matter, according to the ATM, lies in the president’s omission to disclose foreign currency supposedly concealed in his mattress.
The party contends that the absence of financial transparency deems the entire transaction unlawful, and it demands accountability from all parties implicated.
Case to answer
“It is essential to note that the Section 89 independent panel has found that President Ramaphosa has a case to answer in the Phala Phala farmgate scandal,” said the ATM.
“Moreover, recent statements by ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula openly declaring the party’s intention to go to extreme lengths to protect their own, even at the expense of the people, raise serious concerns about the abuse of power within the ANC.”
The ATM also accused the ANC of using its influence and resources to protect Ramaphosa from being held accountable.
“The ATM asserts that the ANC employed its machinery to shield President Ramaphosa from accountability.
“Sars, the South African Reserve Bank, public protector advocate [Kholeka] Galeka, and other complicit institutions must be scrutinised for their role in protecting the President.”