Ankole Cattle, the type of bull Ramaphosa sold for R640 000 at a recent auction Photo Flickr
Johannesburg – President Cyril Ramaphosa has agreed to appear before the African National Congress (ANC) Integrity Commission. This comes as he tries to prove the allegations raised against him are false.
The president addressed the farm robbery during the ANC Limpopo conference. While staying clear of any details of the robbery, he insisted the amount stolen was far less than what is being reported in the media. He also promised to never stop fighting corruption while saying he has never stolen taxpayers’ money as his “integrity as a leader will never allow me to do so.”
The President didn’t not act as if he was a victim of crime
Although the president clarified a few things during the conference, he has left many things unanswered. Ongama Mtimka, Political Analyst and Politics lecturer at the Nelson Mandela University, is still confused as to why the president did not come forward about the robbery sooner if everything was above board.
“The challenge for me is that while the president has stated that the proceeds came from the sale of game, it doesn’t explain why there was a hesitation to deal with this in the public domain. To such an extent there would be allegations that the perpetrators were bribed to keep quiet. Also the extent to which the security personnel of the president allegedly went to keep this under wraps. It doesn’t give the impression of a victim of crime.”
This, coupled with the fact that everything was kept under wraps, gives Mtimka the impression Ramaphosa saw little to no benefit in making the incident known to the public. It creates further doubt that the funds came from selling cattle as he said it did.
Keeping the money on his farm makes no sense
Ramaphosa is a well known game farmer. While game farming is a legitimate business, the way he has handled it is the reason these accusations hold so much weight, said Mtimka.
“The chosen method of payment, which seems to be cash, suggests an intention to hide something. From a safety point of view, especially if you’re a Head of State, and from the perspective of earning from your cash, it just doesn’t make sense that the president would have preference for keeping money under the bed when he is a businessman. He has a lot to gain if that money was kept in the bank or earning interest in investments.”
One of the few accusations that could harm the President’s campaign
In the past there have been many attempts to smear Ramaphosa, without success. According to Mtimka, this is because loopholes were always found. Unfortunately for the president, Mtimka does not see a loophole being found for this, due to what appears to be “prima facie evidence”.
Arthur Fraser may have only brought this to light to help the president’s opposition. His true intentions do not matter, said Mtimka. What only matters are that the allegations hold a lot of weight and as such, they need to be investigated.
Ramaphosa now has the job of proving, not only to the ANC, but the country at large that there was nothing illegal going on at his farm. A task that, if failed, could jeopardise his dream of being president for a second term.