South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has made a robust defence of his integrity after he was accused of being involved in kidnapping and bribery.
Last week, former spy chief Arthur Fraser said the case related to the alleged attempted theft of $4m in 2020 at one of the president’s properties and the alleged efforts to conceal what happened.
The president then confirmed that there was a robbery at his farm in Limpopo “in which proceeds from the sale of game were stolen”. But then questions were raised as to why he had that sum in cash.
Talking to supporters at the weekend, Mr Ramaphosa explained that as a farmer he frequently bought and sold cattle and people often paid in cash. In addition, he denied that the amount stolen was anywhere near $4m.
“All this was money from proceeds from selling animals… I have never stolen money from anywhere… and will never do so.”
Mr Ramaphosa replaced Jacob Zuma as the country’s head of state in 2018 after Zuma was forced to step down amid corruption allegations.
The president has made combatting corruption a priority of his government. But his commitment to this has been questioned as the misuse of state funds, especially over money earmarked for fighting Covid-19, has continued during his presidency.