South Africa’s main opposition party has asked the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to probe whether President Cyril Ramaphosa was involved in money laundering, after it emerged that foreign currency had been stolen from his game farm.
“Specifically, we have requested that the FBI considers investigating the source of the funds and whether the money was brought into South Africa legitimately and declared to the appropriate authorities,” Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen told reporters on Tuesday.
The robbery at Ramaphosa’s farm in the northern Limpopo province in February 2020 was revealed this month by the former head of the State Security Agency, Arthur Fraser, who filed charges against the president for allegedly concealing the crime.
Ramaphosa confirmed that money he made by selling animals was taken, but far less than the more than $4 million Fraser alleged, and denied any wrongdoing. He’s refused to provide further details on what transpired.
Read: Cattle sale that dragged Ramaphosa into political storm is back
The DA has also asked South Africa’s Financial Intelligence Centre, central bank, tax agency and parliament to investigate the matter.
“The president’s decision to remain silent may be due to good legal advice but it is politically dangerous,” Steenhuisen said. “He is accused of contravening a number of laws, which he as the president, he has sworn to uphold.”
Presidency spokesman Vincent Magwenya didn’t immediately respond to calls and texts from Bloomberg News seeking comment.
© 2022 Bloomberg