South Africa News

Justice ministry: No record of request from Namibia in Phala Phala farm theft investigation

The Department of Justice and Correctional Services has confirmed there is no record of a request for mutual legal assistance from the Namibian Police Force (Nampol) in relation to the robbery at President Cyril Ramaphosa‘s Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.

Farmgate scandal

The ministry said it has closely followed media reports and a statement by Nampol concerning a request for mutual legal assistance in respect of a suspect by the name of David Imanuwela.

Chrispin Phiri, the spokesperson for the department, said there are established procedures for serving requests for mutual legal assistance including liasing with diplomatic officials.

“We can confirm that, to date, all requests for mutual legal assistance have followed these processes without any complications between the two states Namibia and South Africa. We can categorically state that, to date, there is no official record of this specific request.”

‘No man’s land’ meeting

Last week, in a three-page statement, Nampol Inspector-General, Sebastian Ndeitunga revealed that Namibian police met with the South African Police Service (Saps) at “no man’s land” on 19 June 2020 following the arrest of one of the suspects connected to the theft.

lmanuwela, who was found in possession of 1,100 US dollars – among other things – was arrested after entering Namibia illegally on 13 June.

Ndeitunga said he had made a formal request, via letter, to Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola’s office, asking for confirmation of the alleged theft at Ramaphosa’s farm.

Phiri said South Africa and Namibia continue to work together in a collaborative manner on issues of mutual legal assistance in accordance with the Southern African Development Community protocol and other related bilateral treaties.

“So far there has not been any development that necessitates any change of approach when dealing with matters of this nature.”

South African authorities have been accused of participating in the alleged cover-up for the theft at Ramaphosa’s farm.

Former State Security Agency (SSA) director-general Arthur Fraser – who laid criminal charges against Ramaphosa due to the crime not being reported to Saps – in his affidavit claimed the suspects, including lmanuwela, who broke into the president’s property were kidnapped, interrogated, and paid off to keep silent as a cover-up.

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