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Public Protector to subpoena Ramaphosa on Phala Phala theft saga


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Public Protector to subpoena Ramaphosa on Phala Phala theft saga

President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa

19th July 2022

By: Sane Dhlamini
Creamer Media Senior Contributing Editor and Researcher


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Acting Public Protector Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka has confirmed that her office will, in line with the Public Protector Act, subpoena President Cyril Ramaphosa to respond to allegations in the Phala Phala investigation.

Former spy boss Arthur Fraser is claiming that Ramaphosa concealed a multimillion-dollar robbery from the South African Police Service and the South African Revenue Service.


In a statement on Tuesday Gcaleka said Ramaphosa, who was expected to submit his response to allegations made against him by July 18, had applied for a further extension, which she denied. 

“We confirm that the President had until July 18, 2022 to respond to the allegations letter of June 07, 2022 after his previous request to have the initial return date of June 22, 2022 extended. A request for a further extension has instead been filed. The request for a further extension has been denied and was communicated to the President on July 18, 2022,” the Public Protector’s office said.


It went on to assure South Africans that the matter was being thoroughly investigated, adding that it would not comment further on the issue at hand to protect the integrity of the investigation.

“This is because investigating such matters in the glare of the public carries with it the risk of jeopardising investigations,” the office said.

Meanwhile, after requesting that she disclose whether the President responded to her questions, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) is accusing Gcaleka of shielding information which, it says, is due to the public.

The EFF has made public its support for suspended Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, and has accused Gcaleka of having “a history of connections” with members of the African National Congress.

“As things stand, the people of South Africa are left to believe that Ramaphosa has not responded to the 31 questions, meaning that the President of South Africa is in breach of the Public Protector Act and in contempt of the Office of the Public Protector,” the EFF said.

It went on to call Ramaphosa a constitutional delinquent for his lack of compliance and further accused Gcaleka of protecting Ramaphosa.

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen welcomed Gcaleka's decision to subpoena Ramaphosa.

Steenhuisen said it was encouraging to see that the Public Protector’s office, a Chapter 9 institution, under Gcaleka, was investigating the matter urgently and seriously.

“It is unfathomable that President Ramaphosa would request an extension to provide the facts on a matter that took place at his personal residence over two years ago. This is also a deeply embarrassing development for a sitting President, and one which is causing immense damage both to South Africa’s domestic and international image, and the Office of the Presidency. The nation demands answers, not obfuscation and equivocation from our head of state. The President recently told the SACP conference that he does "have answers" for Phala Phala, yet he steadfastly refuses to provide them, " Steenhuisen said.

He said if anything, the Zondo commission has shown us that it is imperative that executive accountability must be applied without fear or favour.


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