FULL FRASER AFFIDAVIT: Large sums of dollars hidden in Ramaphosa's furniture

Arthur Fraser's statement to the police about the robbery at the president's farmhouse include images and speaks of supporting video evidence.

An image from the affidavit by Arthur Fraser about the robbery at President Cyril Ramaphosa's farmhouse, purporting to show one of the suspects. Picture: Official statement

JOHANNESBURG - As the head of state, President Cyril Ramaphosa no doubt has access to state-of-the art safes and vaults. But - according to former State Security director-general Arthur Fraser - the millions of “undeclared” US dollars at the centre of the former prisons boss’s new criminal claims against the president, were simply stashed away inside pieces of furniture at his Phala Phala game farm.

“One of the domestic workers employed at Phala Phala discovered undisclosed sums of US$ concealed in the furniture of the President’s residence at the farm,” reads the explosive statement Fraser made to police, in support of the case he opened against Ramaphosa last week.

Fraser last Wednesday announced the charges and that they emanated “from the [2020] theft of millions of US dollars (in excess of four million US dollars) concealed within the premises of the president's Phala Phala farm in Waterberg, Limpopo, by criminals who were colluding with his domestic worker”.

“They also include defeating the ends of justice, kidnapping of suspects, their interrogation on his property and bribery. The president concealed the crime from the SAPS and / or SARS and thereafter paid the culprits for their silence,” he said at the time.

And, Fraser levelled, the Ramaphosa’s conduct constituted a breach of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act (POCA).

The Presidency has subsequently confirmed a robbery took place “in which proceeds from the sale of game were stolen”.

According to Ramaphosa, though, there was “no basis for the claims of criminal conduct”.

“On being advised of the robbery, President Ramaphosa reported the incident to the head of the Presidential Protection Unit of the South African Police Service for investigation,” said the Presidency.

But the statement Fraser made to the police (which has since been widely circulated on social media) contains a string of damning allegations together with references to physical evidence, including video footage.

In essence, Fraser claimed “large undisclosed sums of United States dollars, concealed in the furniture in the main farmhouse, had been unlawfully removed from the president’s premises by the assailants”.

There was no official report to the police, he claimed further, and Ramaphosa instead insourced investigations to the head of the Presidential Protection Unit, Major-General Wally Rhoode. According to Fraser, Rhoode dutifully - but unlawfully - obliged and the perpetrators were identified as the domestic worker who had discovered the cash and five men she had apparently recruited.

Several them were tracked down to Cape Town; and they were detained and interrogated, Fraser said, and cash and valuables was ultimately seized from them. One suspect was further traced to Namibia, he said, and that country’s President, Hage Geingob, was even roped in to assist with apprehending him.

In the end, though, the suspects were apparently released and paid R150,000 each to keep their mouths shut, Fraser further charged.

“The mere fact that President Ramaphosa had large undisclosed sums of foreign currency in the form of US dollars concealed in his furniture at his Phala Phala residence is prima facie proof of money laundering,” Fraser said, adding that Ramaphosa’s conduct could also amount to “unexplained possession of suspected stolen goods” and “contraventions of our various fiscal, currency and exchange control and custom and excise laws and regulations”.

As the African National Congress’s national elective conference nears, it’s impossible to ignore Fraser’s links to the RET faction.

In fact it’s alleged the former State Security Agency (SSA) head was the source of part of the infamous spy tapes, which wound up getting former president Jacob Zuma off the hook on his corruption charges back in 2009. And it was he who overturned the medical parole advisory board’s decision not to grant Zuma medical parole after he was incarcerated for contempt of court last year.

In his statement, though, Fraser insists his case as one “guided by the dictates of the interests of justice and our constitution” - emphasising the president's “duty to uphold and respect the rule of law, due process, our constitutional values, and most importantly, his oath of office”.

An image from the affidavit by Arthur Fraser about the robbery at President Cyril Ramaphosa's farmhouse, purporting to show one of the suspects. Picture: Official statement