Fraser’s fazing of the President – a tense nation awaits

Whether President Ramaphosa’s millions of dollars, allegedly hidden in furniture in his private Phala Phala game farm, were from the sale of exotic game or not, the slick burglary and its alleged cover-up bid are political dynamite. With the ANC’s elective conference this December, the timing and source of the allegations by former spy boss and Jacob Zuma liberator, Arthur Fraser, smell to high heaven. However, a read of the charges laid out in impeccable detail here is disconcerting, given the potential they have to embroil Ramaphosa in a lengthy and potentially politically fatal legal wrangle. Steeped in the ways of intrigue, intelligence gathering and selective leaking of information, Fraser’s high-stakes card could give the ANC’s RET faction a boost after being on the defensive for so long. The behaviour of Ramaphosa’s Presidential Protection Unit alleged by Fraser will take some defending. Once again, it’s Spy versus Spy time. Hold onto your hats. Story courtesy of Politicsweb. – Chris Bateman

The case against Ramaphosa – Arthur Fraser

Arthur Fraser | 06 June 2022

WITNESS STATEMENT

I, the undersigned,

ARTHUR JOSEPH PETER FRASER,

do hereby make oath and state:

INTRODUCTION

1. I am an adult South African male and the complainant herein.

2. Over the years I have served in various positions both in the government of the Republic of South Africa and in the private sector.

3. Most recently, I served as the National Commissioner for the Department of Correctional Services (‘DCS’), a position I served in from 18 April 2018 to 26 September 2021.

4. Immediately prior thereto, I served as the Director-General: State Security Agency (‘SSA’) with effect from 26 September 2016 until 17 April 2018. I previously also served as the Deputy Director-General: Operations in the National Intelligence Agency (“NIA”) from December 2005 until November 2010 and as the Provincial Head: Western Cape from 1998 to 2004.

5. By virtue of my experience, my advice is regularly sought in relation to security and intelligence matters. Similarly, unsolicited information is also regularly brought to my attention by various people and entities.

PURPOSE OF STATEMENT

6.I attest hereto solely in pursuance of requesting the South African Police Service (‘SAPS’) to investigate the conduct of the President of the Republic of South Africa, President Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa (‘President Ramaphosa’ and or ‘the President); the Head of SAPS’ Presidential Protection Unit, Major General Wally Rhoode (‘Major General Rhoode’); and that of others, which, inter alia, amounts to money laundering, in contravention of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act No. 121 of 1998 (‘POCA’) and corruption, in contravention of the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act No. 12 of 2004, as a result of information, documents, photographs and video footage that has. been brought to my attention.

7. I appreciate that it is no small matter to lay criminal charges against a sitting President, but I am guided by the dictates of the interests of justice and our Constitution.

BACKGROUND

8. On or about 9 February 2020, trespassing and housebreaking occurred at the main farmhouse at Phala Phala, a wildlife farm situated in Bela-Bela, Limpopo, which is privately owned by President Ramaphosa, during which incident large undisclosed sums of United States Dollars (‘US$’), concealed in the furniture in the main farmhouse had been unlawfully removed from the President’s premises by the assailants.

9. The incident was not officially reported to the police to investigate. However, President Ramaphosa instructed Major General Rhoode to immediately investigate the incident, to apprehend the suspects and to retrieve the stolen US$.

1O. Major General Rhoode subsequently acquired the services of a local farmer with investigative experience and capabilities to assist him with the investigation.

11. Major General Rhoode immediately, illegally, constituted a team, consisting, inter alia, of former SAPS members and serving members of SAPS’ Crime Intelligence Unit, along with the local farmer to investigate the matter at the instance of President Ramaphosa

12. The team, as I have been advised, collected video and photo evidence; interviewed the domestic worker concerned and some of the suspects; recovered some of the stolen loot and obtained documentary proof of how some of the stolen US$ had been spent by the alleged perpetrators. Some of the videos, photographs and documents to which I refer herein, were handed to me by one of the members of the investigative team.

13. In addition to the above, I was also informed of the following by a member of Major General Rhoode’s team:

13.1 One of the domestic workers employed at Phala Phala discovered undisclosed sums of US$ concealed in the furniture of the President’s residence on the farm.

13.2 The domestic worker hails from an informal settlement in proximity to Phala Phala, known as Cyferskyl, which is predominantly occupied by Namibian citizens.

13.3 Upon discovering the undisclosed sums of US$ concealed in the furniture of the President’s residence, the domestic worker conspired with members of Cyferskyl informal settlement who facilitated the following persons resident in Cape Town, namely, (i) Urrbanus Lomboleni Shaumbwako (‘Mr Shaumbwako’), a Namibian citizen; (ii) Petrus Fikeipo Muhekeni (‘Mr Muhekeni’), a Namibian citizen; (iii) Erkki Shikongo (‘Mr Shikongo’), a Namibian citizen; (iv) lmanuwela David (‘Mr David’), a South African citizen; and Petrus Afrikaner (‘Mr Afrikaner’), a Namibian citizen, to break into the President’s residence at Phala Phala to steal the US$ concealed in the furniture in President Ramaphosa’s property.

13.4 The assailants unlawfully entered the perimeters of Phala Phala farm at approximately 22h17, 9 February 2020, by cutting the wire perimeter fencing, after which they surreptitiously approached the President’s residence. (A copy of a topographical image depicting Phala Phala; places where the fences were cut; and where visible spoor were found, as handed to me is annexed hereto marked ‘AF 1‘; whist a picture depicting a cut fence, which was also handed to me, is annexed hereto marked ‘AF 2’).

13.5 Entry was gained through a window on the ground floor of the President’s main residence on the farm. (A copy of a picture in confirmation hereof, which was handed to me, is annexed hereto marked ‘AF 3’).

13.6 The break-in to the President’s residence at Phala Phala was captured by both external Security Cameras strategically situated outside the farmhouse and internal Security Cameras strategically situated inside the President’s residence. (Security Camera Footage from external Camera 1 at 22h14:14s depicting two of the assailants outside the premises and the voices of investigators viewing the footage is annexed hereto on a removable flash drive, marked ‘AF 4’. 

The removable flash drive also contains Security Camera footage from external Camera 1 at 22h17: 01s depicting one of the assailants on the outside of the premises; Security Camera footage from external Camera 4 at 00h33: 34s depicting two of the assailants on the outside of the premises removing the window where entry was gained into the premises and which contains the voices of investigators viewing the footage;· Security Camera footage from internal Camera 1 and another undisclosed internal camera depicting some of the assailants inside the premises at around 1h44:08s. The Security Camera footage referred to herein was also handed to me by a member of Major General Rhoode’s team).

13.7 The alleged perpetrators subsequently ransacked the President’s residence at Phala Phala by removing the undisclosed amount of US$ that was concealed in the furniture in the residence.

13.8 The perpetrators thereafter immediately returned to Cape Town.

13.9 Although there was not any certainty as to the precise amount of US$ stolen from the President’s residence, the quantum was speculated to be in the region of approximately US$4 million to US$ 8 million.

13.10 Staff members, including the domestic worker, were interrogated at the President’s residence at Phala Phala. (A picture of the domestic worker is annexed hereto marked ‘AF 5’. The picture was purportedly taken by members of Major General Rhoode’s investigating team on the day the domestic worker was interviewed).

13.11 The domestic worker was subsequently initially dismissed from her employment at Phala Phala, but was later reinstated following discussions between President Ramaphosa and the domestic worker’s father.

13.12 Upon reinstatement the domestic worker was paid an amount of R150 000 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Rand) cash in lieu of her undertaking not to divulge any information of what had transpired at Phala Phala.

13.13 This notwithstanding, residents of Cyferskyl informal settlement knew about the theft that had taken place at President Ramaphosa’s farm.

13.14 I annex hereto as ‘AF 6’ a picture of a further suspect that was interrogated whilst handcuffed in the President’s residence at Phala Phala.

13.15 The investigating team constituted by Major General Rhoode traced some of the alleged perpetrators back to Cape Town where they were apprehended under the ruse of an official police investigation and were interrogated.

13.16 Copies of the alleged suspects’ identification documents were obtained (which were also handed to me). Attached hereto are copies the following:

13.16.1 The Namibian Passport of Mr Shaumbwako, marked ‘AF 7’;

13.16.2 The South African Driving Licence of Mr Shaumbwako, marked ‘AF 8’;

13.16.3 The South African Identity Document of Mr Shaumbwako, marked ‘AF9’;

13.16.4 The South African Identity Card of Mr Mukekeni, marked ‘AF 10’;

13.16.5 The Namibian Passport of Mr Shikongo, marked ‘AF 11 ‘;

13.16.6 The South African Identity Card of Mr David, marked ‘AF 12’;

13.16.7 The South African Driving Licence of Mr David, marked ‘AF 13’;

and,

13.16.8 The Namibian Identity Card of Mr Afrikaner, marked ‘AF 14’;

13.17 The stolen US$ were exchanged for South African Rands at an informal foreign exchange service ordinarily run by persons of Chinese nationality, situated at 25 Hout Street, Cape Town. (A copy of a photograph of the said business is annexed hereto marked ‘AF 15’).

13.18 The alleged suspects had thereafter commenced spending the stolen loot on various high-end purchases and cash deposits into bank accounts. (Attached hereto is a copy of a handwritten note compiled by one of the investigators in the team constituted by Major General Rhoode, marked ‘AF 16’, which provides a scant breakdown of how some of the money was spent).

13.19 On 14 February 2020 Mr Mukekeni had purchased a 2019 Ford Ranger 2.0TDCi Wildtrak 4×4 bakkie, which he insured through King Price Insurance. (Copies of the relevant documents in confirmation hereof, including a photograph, is annexed hereto and respectively marked, ‘AF 17(1}’ to AF 17(3)’.

13.20 On 15 February 2020 Mr Shikongo transferred R300 000-00 (Three Hundred Thousand Rand from his Gold Cheque Account held at First National Bank to Barons, Culemborg and a further R415 000-00 (Four Hundred and Fifteen Thousand Rand), again to Barons, Culemborg on 16 February 2020. Copies of the transactions are annexed hereto respectively marked ‘AF 18’ and ‘AF 19’.

13.21 A red Volkswagen GTI was subsequently registered in Mr Shaumbwako’s name on 19 February 2020. Copies of the relevant documents are annexed hereto marked ‘AF 20. and ‘AF 21‘. Attached hereto are three further pictures of some of the suspects with new vehicles, marked ‘AF 22 (1)’ to ‘AF 22(3)’. Also included in the removable flash drive (marked ‘AF 4’ herein) is a video of one of the suspects and a red Volkswagen Golf with registration number CM 148 – 219.

13.22 Another suspect was traced and found to have fled to Namibia.

13.23 President Ramaphosa sought the assistance of the President of Namibia, President Hage Geingob in apprehending the suspect in Namibia.

13.24 This resulted in Major General Rhoode traveling to Namibia where the suspect was interviewed and stolen monies seized from him. Major General Rhoode had travelled to Namibia utilising official government resources and had not been legally processed through border control to have left the country nor that he returned to the country.

13.25 A person named Mandia Ofentse had sent a message to an unknown person on or about 27 February 2020 advising ‘/ have information about those who stole in phala phala but scared for my safety.’ A copy thereof is annexed hereto marked ‘AF 23’.

13.26 A message was forwarded to Major General Rhoode containing pictures of one of the suspects. A copy of the screenshot of the telephone in confirmation thereof is annexed hereto marked ‘AF 24’.

13.27 Numerous screenshots of text messages between a woman named Precious Moloto (who seemed to know the alleged suspects and investigators) and unknown persons, detailing attempts to trace the suspects in relation to the theft at Phala Phala is annexed hereto marked ‘AF 25’.

13.28 After interrogating Mr Shaumbwako; Mr Muhekeni; Mr Shikongo; Mr David; and Mr Afrikaner, Major General Rhoode’s team confiscated large sums of money and valuables from these suspects.

13.29 Major General Rhoode and his team, on the instruction of President Ramaphosa paid Mr Shaumbwako; Mr Muhekeni; Mr Shikongo; Mr David; and Mr Afrikaner Ri 50 000-00 (One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Rand) each in cash to conceal the events that took place at Phala Phala on 9 February 2020.

14. As the first citizen of the Republic of South Africa, President Ramaphosa has a duty to uphold and respect the rule of law, due process, our constitutional values and most importantly, his oath of office. President Ramaphosa took an oath to protect and uphold the Constitution and the laws of the Republic. The same applies to Major General Rhoode.

15. The mere fact that President Ramaphosa had large undisclosed sums of foreign currency in the form of US$ concealed in his furniture at his Phala Phala residence is prima facie proof of money laundering in contravention of section 4 of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act No. 121 of 1998 (‘POCA’). In this regard it is prudent for the SAPS to establish the origins of these large sums of foreign currency. The President’s conduct may also amount to a contravention of section 36 of the General Law Amendment Act No. 62 of 1955 (i.e. unexplained possession of suspected stolen goods) and contraventions of our various fiscal, currency and exchange control and custom and excise laws and regulations.

16. Similarly, Major General Rhoode’s conduct in assi-sting both President Ramaphosa; Mr Shaumbwako; Mr Muhekeni; Mr Shikongo; Mr David; and Mr Afrikaner, falls foul of section 5 of POCA.

17. The payment by President Ramaphosa, Major General Rhoode and his team of R150 000 (One Hundred Thousand Rand) in cash each to the domestic worker; Mr Shaumbwako; Mr Muhekeni; Mr Shikongo; Mr David; and Mr Afrikaner to not divulge any information in relation to the huge sums of US$ taken from President Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala residence, where same was concealed, not only amounts to corruption in contravention of the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act No. 12 of 2004, but is also intended to defeat and/or obstruct the course of justice.

18. It is further evident from the conduct of Major General Rhoode and his team, acting at the instance of President Ramaphosa, having forcefully interrogated the alleged suspects, that their conduct amounts to kidnapping, in that they unlawfully and intentionally deprived the alleged suspects of their respective personal freedom of movement and constitutional rights.

CONCLUSION

In the light of the above information which was brought to my attention, I request the SAPS to investigate the allegations herein and reiterate my availability to render any further assistance herewith as may be required.

Signed under oath at Rosebank police station on 1 June 2022 by ARTHUR JOSEPH PETER FRASER

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