- Law & Order
Cyril Ramaphosa South Africa’s President cleared of Forex Theft Scandal
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has been cleared of wrongdoing by the country’s graft ombudsman following an investigation into the theft of foreign currency at his farm.
The acting Public Protector, Kholeka Gcaleka, said on Friday that there was no evidence that Ramaphosa had an active involvement in paid work and that there was no basis to conclude that he had violated the Executive Ethics Code. This means that he was not exposed to the risk of a conflict of interest.
The outcome of the Public Protector’s investigation comes months after a parliamentary panel found that Ramaphosa may have breached the constitution in the handling of the burglary of foreign currency stashed in a sofa at his Phala Phala game farm. Ramaphosa has denied any wrongdoing.
The furor over the robbery at his farm first erupted a year ago when Arthur Fraser, the former head of South Africa’s national spy agency, laid charges against Ramaphosa, alleging that he had sought to cover up the 2020 theft, in which at least $580,000 of cash was stolen.
In her report, Gcaleka said that the Public Protector’s office had found no evidence to support Fraser’s allegations. She also said that there was no evidence that Ramaphosa had lied to Parliament about the robbery.
The report’s findings will likely be welcomed by Ramaphosa and his supporters, who have been under pressure to account for the theft. However, the report is unlikely to end the controversy surrounding the case. Fraser has already said that he will appeal the report’s findings, and it is possible that the matter could still be referred to the courts.
The theft at Ramaphosa’s farm has been a major political scandal in South Africa. It has raised questions about the president’s judgment and his commitment to transparency. The outcome of the Public Protector’s investigation is a significant development in the case, but it is likely that the controversy will continue for some time to come.