Former spy boss and prisons commissioner Arthur Fraser has laid charges of money laundering, kidnapping and corruption against President Cyril Ramaphosa over the alleged theft of US$4 million (R62 million) at the head of state’s home in 2020.
Police national spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe confirmed that “a case of money laundering, defeating the ends of justice and kidnapping” had been registered at the Rosebank station in Johannesburg on Wednesday afternoon.
Mathe did not provide further detail of the charges, but said “due processes will follow” with regard to the case.
Fraser, whose contract as national prisons commissioner was not renewed when it came to an end earlier this year, was responsible for releasing former president Jacob Zuma on medical parole last September after he was jailed for contempt of court for 15 months for refusing to return to the Zondo Commission into state capture.
The high court subsequently declared Fraser’s decision unlawful.
In a statement, Fraser said he had taken the “unprecedented step” of laying criminal charges of violating the Prevention of Organised Crime Act against the president. He said the details of the charges and supporting evidence including photographs, bank accounts, video footage and names, had been handed to Rosebank police, along with his statement.
Fraser said the charges related to the theft of more than US$4 million “concealed” at the president’s Phala Phala farm at Waterberg in Limpopo on 9 February 2020.
The charges would include defeating the ends of justice, kidnapping of suspects, their interrogation on his property and bribery, Fraser said.
“The president concealed the crime from the SAPS and the South African Revenue Service and thereafter paid the culprits for their silence,” Fraser said.
Fraser said Ramaphosa’s conduct and that of others involved constituted a breach of anti-corruption laws.
“I trust that the police and the prosecuting authorities will investigate this matter without fear or favour. I also trust that the president will take the nation into his confidence and accept or deny that the events I describe in my affidavit occurred on his property,” he added.
Fraser’s role in the abuse of the state security apparatus under Zuma came under the microscope at the Zondo Commission into state capture.
He in turn has hit back by laying charges against a number of people who had given testimony implicating him in acts of corruption.
Fraser’s lawyers have recently written to the National Prosecuting Authority demanding an update on progress in investigating charges he laid against Ramaphosa’s former state security advisor, Dr Sydney Mufamadi, former State Security Agency director general Loyiso Jafta and operatives Ms K and Mr Y over their evidence.
Charges of subornation of perjury were also laid against commission evidence leader Paul Pretorius SC and team member advocate Veruschka September.
The presidency had not responded to questions from the Mail & Guardian at the time of writing.
If the president were to be arrested as a result of Fraser’s charges ahead of the ruling ANC’s national conference in December, this could prevent him from standing for a second term as party president due to its step aside rule.
While several ANC leaders, including secretary general Ace Magashule have been impacted by the rule, others, among them eThekwini chairperson Zandile Gumede, have still contested for party posts after being charged and forced to step aside.
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