Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
Home / News / All News RSS ← Back

Email this article

separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses

Sponsored by


Article Enquiry

Alleged mastermind behind robbery at Ramaphosa's farm denied bail


Embed Video

Alleged mastermind behind robbery at Ramaphosa's farm denied bail

8th December 2023

By: News24Wire


Font size: -+

The Bela Bela Magistrate's Court on Friday denied bail to the alleged mastermind of a burglary at President Cyril Ramaphosa's Phala Phala farm.

Imanuwela David and his two co-accused, siblings Florianah and Ndlilinasho Joseph, stand accused of robbery at the farm in February 2020.


David faces two counts of housebreaking, one count of conspiracy to commit housebreaking, and money laundering.

He intends to plead not guilty.


The magistrate, Predeshni Ponnan, heard closing arguments from the State and defence, much of which centred around whether or not David had a stable address.

Ponnan said the court had taken into account the crimes committed, as well as the fact that the investigation was still ongoing. 

"There is a strong possibility that accused number one [David], should he be released on bail, may tamper or interfere with the investigation or the State witnesses or destroy or conceal evidence against him."

Ponnan said David had not satisfied the court (that he would not interfere with the matter). 

The State detailed how numerous addresses supplied by David did not exist and raised concerns that he might commit another offence.

David's defence argued that he had family ties in Rustenburg, where his mother lives, and where he was arrested more than a month ago.

The defence added that David had part-time employment in the construction industry.

But the State raised concern that David could attempt to contact witnesses, including former employees of Phala Phala, should he be released on bail.

However the defence argued that the other two accused in the case had been released on bail, and posed the same risk to witnesses.

David's arrest comes after months of investigation by a team led by Lieutenant-Colonel Ludi Schnelle of the Serious Corruption Unit of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, or the Hawks.

News24 previously reported the existence of the burglary was revealed by former State Security Agency director-general Arthur Fraser in June 2022.

Fraser, in his affidavit, speculated that as much as $4-million (approximately R75-million at current exchange rates) was stashed under a sofa cushion in the main residence on the Phala Phala farm.

Ramaphosa has since claimed the actual amount was $580 000 (roughly R11-million), which was paid to his former farm manager, Sylvester Ndlovu, by Sudanese businessman Hazim Mustafa on 25 December 2019 for several buffalo.

However, the buffalo never left the farm, News24 later reported.


To subscribe email or click here
To advertise email or click here

Comment Guidelines

About is a product of Creamer Media.

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Engineering News
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa

Read more


We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store


Advertising on is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email

View options
Free daily email newsletter Register Now