Phala Phala: Zizi Kodwa says he had 'no prior knowledge' of theft at Ramaphosa's farm

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Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa. Photo: Lerato Maduna
Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa. Photo: Lerato Maduna
  • Zizi Kodwa said he was unaware of any theft at Cyril Ramaphosa's farm until the media publicised the incident. 
  • Kodwa told News24 allegations that he was involved in tracking down the perpetrators were unfounded.
  • Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence announced that it would probe Kodwa with regard to his role.

Deputy State Security Minister Zizi Kodwa distanced himself from the Phala Phala farm theft, saying he had no prior knowledge of the incident.

Speaking to News24 on Thursday, Kodwa said he only became aware of the theft at President Cyril Ramaphosa's farm when the news broke in the media. 

"I have no prior knowledge of what happened at Phala Phala; I also found out from the news, like everyone else," he said.

This comes after Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) on Wednesday announced it would investigate Kodwa for his alleged role in the aftermath of the Phala Phala farm robbery. 

READ | EXCLUSIVE: Phala Phala saga: Parliament to probe claims of Zizi Kodwa cover-up, abuse of secret funds

Kodwa said the allegations that secret crime intelligence funds were used to covertly investigate the robbery that took place at Ramaphosa's farm in February 2020, and that he accompanied Major-General Wally Rhoode, the head of the Presidential Protection Unit, during secret interactions between the South African and Namibian authorities, were untrue. 

"It's pure fabrication and baseless gossip. It's a fishing expedition that will amount to nothing," said Kodwa. 

He said that, when the JSCI questioned him regarding the allegations, he would repeat the same response: that he was unaware of the incident and did not take part in any cover-up. 

"There is no basis for the allegations. People say I flew to Namibia, and I can't even remember the last time I was in Namibia. It wasn't any time within the time frames they are trying to suggest. I am going to give Parliament the same response," said Kodwa.

National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula wrote to the JSCI's chairperson, Jerome Maake, last Friday to say the committee was constitutionally mandated to oversee the affairs and conduct of the country's intelligence structures.

"It has also been alleged that Kodwa accompanied Major-General Wally Rhoode during secret interactions between the South African and Namibian authorities," Mapisa-Nqakula writes, adding that, as such, "a probe must be instituted to verify such serious allegations". 

DA leader John Steenhuisen who called on Kodwa to be probed said should these allegations be true, they would "constitute a flagrant abuse of our taxpayers' money".

Former spy boss Arthur Fraser alleged in June that at least $4 million was stolen from Ramaphosa's Phala Phala farm in Limpopo in February 2020 - and that, subsequent to the theft, off-the-books means were used to try and locate the culprits and the money.


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