Cape Town – South African state security agents reportedly prevented a citizen’s arrest of President Cyril Ramaphosa over the Farmgate scandal at a National Women’s Day celebration in Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday.
Members of a civil rights organisation Real Democracy allegedly attempted to arrest Ramaphosa as he entered the Slahla sports field.
According to IOL, the group was, however, “stopped at the VVIP gate and, after being questioned by security staff, were prevented from entering the event, and instead were attended to by staff from the Presidency”.
“A SAPS legal representative who introduced himself to the group as Iqbal Latiff, said there was no reason for Real Democracy attempting to arrest the president, since the Farmgate matter was still under investigation by various law enforcement agencies, including the Hawks,” the report said.
Ramaphosa was accused of bribing burglars to keep quiet about a February 2020 heist at his farmhouse, where they stole cash worth some $4 million.
South Africa’s former spy boss Arthur Fraser reported the matter to the police. He said that Ramaphosa hid the heist from police and the tax authorities.
Fraser accused Ramaphosa of organising the kidnapping and questioning of the burglars, and then bribing them to keep quiet.
Ramaphosa, on the other hand, acknowledged the burglary but disputed the amount of money involved and said the cash came from legitimate sales of game at his farm.
He denied the alleged kidnapping and bribery, saying he reported the burglary to the police after he had learned of it.
Apart from the incident with the Real Democracy, Ramaphosa addressed thousands at the official Women’s Day event.
His focus was on the gender-based violence horrors which continued across the country, eNCA reported.
“Gender-based violence continues to be a stain on our celebrations today. Hardly a day goes in South Africa without a report of women being attacked, violated or even being killed by men and this cannot continue.
“This has to stop. The women of South Africa have had enough of being afraid. They are afraid of going anywhere, they are afraid for the safety of their children,” the report quoted Ramaphosa as saying.
Compiled by Betha Madhomu