Police arrest suspects over Cyril Ramaphosa farm robbery

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Two men have been arrested in connection with the theft of foreign currency that was stuffed under a sofa cushion at South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in 2020.

The suspects will appear in court on Tuesday.

Police spokesperson Colonel Katlego Mogale said they are planning to arrest a third person.

Dubbed “farmgate”, the controversy first came to light when Arthur Fraser, the former head of the country’s state security agency, filed a criminal complaint against President Ramaphosa last year.

Mr Fraser accused the president of bribery, money laundering and concealing a crime in relation to the alleged theft of an estimated $4m (£3.2m) from his farm.

He stated that President Ramaphosa did not report the theft to police in an attempt to cover up the existence of the large sum of cash.

Mr Ramaphosa confirmed the theft, but disputed the figure, saying it was $580,000 (£470,000) not $4m that had been stolen from his property and denied any criminal activity. He says the money came from selling buffalos.

The president was cleared of any wrongdoing by the ombudswoman, also known as the public protector, in June.

Mr Ramaphosa became president in 2018 pledging to tackle corruption.

He replaced Jacob Zuma, whose time in office had been marred by many such allegations.

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