Thursday, 30 March, 2023
E-paper

S Africa president accused of kidnap and bribery

S Africa president accused of kidnap and bribery

South Africa's former spy chief has accused President Cyril Ramaphosa of kidnapping and bribery in a case he has registered with the police.

Arthur Fraser said the case related to the alleged attempted theft of $4m (£3.2m) in 2020 at one of the president's properties and the alleged efforts to conceal what happened.

Ramaphosa said "there is no basis for the claims of criminal conduct".

Fraser is seen by some as an ally of former President Jacob Zuma.

Some believe the allegations could be linked to wrangles within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) ahead of a leadership race in December.

The police have confirmed that a case has been registered with them and that "due processes will follow", which includes an initial investigation.

Fraser, who ran the country's State Security Agency (SSA) between 2016 and 2018, has said he has handed photographs, bank account details and video footage over to the police.

In a statement, he alleged that criminals broke into a farm in Limpopo province in February 2020 to steal more than $4m. They were then detained and interrogated on the property and paid to keep quiet about what had happened, the statement alleges.

In response, Ramaphosa's office confirmed that there was a robbery at his farm in Limpopo "in which proceeds from the sale of game were stolen".

The president, who was out of the country at the time, reported the incident to the police's presidential protection unit, the statement from his office said.

He "stands ready to cooperate with any law enforcement investigation of these matters", it added.