(JOHANNESBURG) South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, mired for months in a scandal linked to the discovery of money on his couch, has been cleared by an initial report from the anti-corruption agency that was leaked to the press on Saturday.
President Ramaphosa’s spokesman, Vincent Magwenya, confirmed on Saturday that the president had received the report, but did not comment on its content. “We take note of the report. As mentioned earlier, we repeat, the President was not involved in any wrongdoing.
Ramaphosa, 70, who made his fortune in business before rising to the highest office, is accused of concealing police and tax authorities a robbery at his property in Valla Vala, where he raises rare cattle.
In February 2020, the intruders walked away with US$580,000 discovered under the sofa cushions. The fruit of the sale of twenty buffaloes, according to the chief.
The report, while acquitting the president, indicates that the head of the Presidential Protection Unit, who was informed about the theft by Mr. Ramaphosa, acted inappropriately, investigating the matter directly rather than reporting it to the police, according to excerpts published by several media outlets.
While this report is great news for the South African president, the police investigation is still ongoing.
It was alleged that Sudanese businessman Hazim Mustafa, who he said was the buyer of the buffaloes in question, did not declare this large amount of cash to customs, as required by law, upon his arrival in South Africa.
The scandal, which broke out in June, tarnished the image of the president, who had promised to eradicate corruption when he came to power. And who risks continuing embarrassment if he seeks a second term next year.
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