Cape Town — Namibian authorities have identified several suspects linked to the theft of nearly U.S.$4 million from South African President President Cyril’s Phala Phala farm in Limpopo in 2020, investigative journalism unit, AmaBhungane reports.
One of the suspects, Imanuwela David, a Namibian national with a South African passport, was arrested after illegally crossing into Namibia on or about June 12, 2020 according to News24. David’s link to the theft became apparent to Namibian journalists roughly four days later; a Namibian police statement revealed that David purchased a TAG Hauer watch worth U.S.$1,800, a Rolex watch worth U.S.$18,000 and gold chain worth U.S.$10,600, plus 11 U.S.$100 notes.
Speaking on the identification of the suspects, investigative reporter Sam Sole said: “We have information from the Namibian authorities showing that some of the suspects in this matter transferred six million rands or six million Namibian dollars from the South African accounts to Namibian accounts. It seem very likely that that six million was not the full amount. The indication is that other money was physically smuggled. So, whether it was one million U.S. dollars of four million U.S. dollars, the issue is neither here nor there.”
This comes after former Correctional Services Commissioner, Arthur Fraser, released a media statement that he had laid criminal charges against President Cyril Ramaphosa, alleging that the president was “concealing the crime” from police and the South African Revenue Service. Following the theft, Fraser claims that Ramaphosa “thereafter paid the culprits for their silence”, allegations that have been dismissed by the Presidency.
Presidential spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, said in a statement that Ramaphosa is committed to complying with any investigation into the incident. “The President reaffirms that he was not involved in any criminal conduct, and once again pledges his full cooperation with any police investigation. President Cyril Ramaphosa acknowledges that while there is much public interest and concern about claims made in a criminal complaint against him, he remains firmly focused on the task of rebuilding the economy and the country,” he said.