Ramaphosa Seemingly ‘Got Off Lightly’ In SARB’s Phala Phala Report – Economist

Ramaphosa Seemingly ‘Got Off Lightly’ In SARB’s Phala Phala Report - Economist - The Times Post
Ramaphosa Seemingly ‘Got Off Lightly’ In SARB’s Phala Phala Report - Economist.

On Monday, the central bank found that President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Ntaba Nyoni Estate were under no legal obligation to declare the foreign currency at the Phala Phala farm.

The bank said there was no completed transaction between Ramaphosa or Ntaba Nyoni Estates on the sale of the buffaloes.

Thus its year-long investigation could not conclude if there was any contravention of the exchange control regulations.

Former spy boss Arthur Fraser said the president attempted to cover up the theft of thousands of US dollars from the farm in February 2020.

Roodt admits the SARB findings surprised him, as there are strict rules governing the possession and use of foreign currency.

“I am a little surprised by the reaction of the SARB. One would have thought that the SARB may have found that the president may have contravened some of the foreign currency regulations because there are strict regulations in South Africa, which means that citizens are not allowed to be in possession of foreign currency above a certain amount.

“The SARB is usually strict on foreign currency regulations, and I think the president came out quite light from this. Officially the president is not guilty of anything, there could be questions around that, but I think the president is off the hook.”

At the same time, Roodt believes this provides an opportunity for the central bank to review legislation around foreign currency.

“We should see this as an opportunity to start talking about total abolition of the foreign currency regulations because this seems like some individuals can buy and keep foreign exchange without too much problem, while other individuals are not allowed to do that.

“We need to make it possible for companies, individuals to keep their assets in any currency they wish to without getting permission from any institution like the Reserve Bank, so we need to get rid of the regulations in its entirety.”

Meanwhile, the Presidency said in a short statement released on Monday that it has noted the completion of the report.


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