Have you herd: Dubai businessman didn't know Ramaphosa owned Phala Phala buffalo he bought - report

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
President Cyril Ramaphosa seen at the ANC's National Working Committee (NWC) meeting where discussions on Phala Phala took place.
President Cyril Ramaphosa seen at the ANC's National Working Committee (NWC) meeting where discussions on Phala Phala took place.
PHOTO: Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images/Netwerk24
  • A Dubai businessman who bought buffaloes at Phala Phala farm reportedly claims he did not know the deal was with President Cyril Ramaphosa.
  • Hazim Mustafa also claimed he was expecting to be refunded for the livestock after the animals were not delivered.
  • He reportedly brought the cash into the country via OR Tambo International Airport, and claims he declared it.

A Dubai businessman who reportedly bought 20 buffaloes from President Cyril Ramaphosa's Phala Phala farm claims that he didn't know the deal with was with the president, according to a report.

Sky News reported that Hazim Mustafa, who reportedly paid $580 000 (R10 million) in cash for the 20 buffaloes from Ramaphosa's farm in December 2019, said initially he didn't know who the animals belonged to.

A panel headed by former chief justice Sandile Ngcobo released a report last week after conducting a probe into allegations of a cover-up of a theft at the farm in February 2020.

READ | Ramaphosa wins crucial NEC debate as parliamentary vote on Phala Phala report delayed by a week

The panel found that there was a case for Ramaphosa to answer and that he may have violated the law and involved himself in a conflict between his official duties and his private business.

In a statement to the panel, Mustafa was identified as the source of the more than $500 000 (R9 million) that was stolen from the farm. Among the evidence was a receipt for $580 000 that a Phala Phala employee had written to "Mr Hazim".

According to Sky News, Mustafa said he celebrated Christmas and his wife's birthday in Limpopo in 2019, and that he dealt with a broker when he bought the animals.

He reportedly said the animals were to be prepared for export, but they were never delivered due to the Covid-19 lockdown. He understood he would be refunded after the delays.

He also reportedly brought the cash into the country through OR Tambo International Airport and said he declared it. Mustafa also told Sky News that the amount was "nothing for a businessman like [him]".

READ | Here's the Sudanese millionaire - and his Gucci wife - who bought Ramaphosa's buffalo

The businessman is the owner Sudanese football club Al Merrikh SC. He is married to Bianca O'Donoghue, who hails from KwaZulu-Natal.

O'Donoghue regularly takes to social media to post snaps of a life of wealth – including several pictures in designer labels and next to a purple Rolls Royce Cullinan, a luxury SUV worth approximately R5.5 million.

Hazim Mustafa with his wife in a mansion
Sudanese businessman Hazim Mustafa with his South African-born wife, Bianca O'Donoghue.
Facebook PHOTO: Bianca O'Donoghue/Facebook

News24 previously reported that he also had ties to former Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir.

There have been calls for Ramaphosa to step down following the saga. A motion of no confidence is expected to be submitted in Parliament.

He denied any wrongdoing and said the ANC's national executive committee (NEC) would decide his fate.

Do you have a tipoff or any information that could help shape this story? Email tips@24.com


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.
Results
I'll take that over constant schedule changes
13% - 1388 votes
Why are we normalising Eskom’s mess?
72% - 7668 votes
I've already found alternative ways of powering my home/business
15% - 1592 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.35
-1.6%
Rand - Pound
21.05
-0.7%
Rand - Euro
18.82
-0.9%
Rand - Aus dollar
12.09
+0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-0.2%
Platinum
995.17
-2.9%
Palladium
1,618.85
-3.1%
Gold
1,880.99
-1.7%
Silver
22.68
-3.3%
Brent Crude
82.17
-0.8%
Top 40
73,733
+0.1%
All Share
79,875
+0.1%
Resource 10
74,527
-0.2%
Industrial 25
103,181
+0.5%
Financial 15
16,491
-0.4%
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.

LEARN MORE