Ramaphosa says he receives 'no remuneration' from Phala Phala, only employer is the state

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
President Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa
PHOTO: Elizabeth Sejake
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa's response to the Section 89 panel into the Phala Phala saga has been leaked and provides the first indication of how he will battle the conflict-of-interest probe.
  • The panel, headed by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo, was established to determine whether Ramaphosa has a case to answer regarding the Phala Phala saga.
  • The panel handed its report to the speaker of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa told the panel established by Parliament to examine allegations relating to the Phala Phala saga that he never drew a salary, and that he had declared his financial interests at all times.

Ramaphosa, a prolific game breeder and businessman, divested from his business interests in 2012 after he became deputy president.

He held onto his two farms – Ntaba Nyoni in Mpumalanga, that he has owned since the early 2000s, and Phala Phala in Limpopo, that has been in operation since roughly 2010. Both properties are owned by the Tshivhase Trust, and the corporate entity used to manage the farms is Ntaba Nyoni Estates Pty (Ltd).

"I am entitled to retain assets or financial interests where no conflict of interest would arise, if these are declared. The ATM and EFF's proposition that I have misconstrued my obligations in this regard is entirely without merit. I do not perform paid work for Ntaba Nyoni – nothing I said has ever suggested as much – nor do I receive remuneration for work or service other than my functions as President in the service of the people of South Africa," his submission to the panel read.

ALSO READ | Steenhuisen believes Ramaphosa will escape case for impeachment, slams Mapisa-Nqakula

The panel, chaired by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo, was set up to establish whether there was evidence of wrongdoing on Ramaphosa's part in the Phala Phala saga.

The allegations were first made public by former State Security Agency director-general Arthur Fraser in an affidavit to police in June. He alleged that Ramaphosa and his head of security, Major General Wally Rhoode, had engaged in a cover-up and committed other offences in the process after the theft of $580 000 at Phala Phala in 2020.

Ramaphosa's response to the panel provides the first indication of how the president will defend allegations that he violated the Executive Members' Ethics Act by having an income other than his salary.

"Much like a shareholder of a company, who receives no remuneration, I am not on any payroll other than that of the Presidency. As previously stated, I have no personal knowledge regarding the theft itself," Ramaphosa's response read.

The response was released just as a media briefing was under way in Cape Town for the official handover of the panel's report to National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

This is a developing story.

Note: This story was corrected after publication. The President's response was not leaked, but released to the media. The Presidency gave an undertaking that it would be shared following the finalisation of the independent panel's report. The error is regretted. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
What are your thoughts on the possibility of having permanent Stage 2 or 3 load shedding?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 1285 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 7175 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 1489 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.