South Africa’s Ramaphosa denies money-laundering allegations

Sep 28, 2022, 10:52 PM | Updated: Sep 29, 2022, 10:57 am
President Joe Biden talks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa outside the West Wing of the...

President Joe Biden talks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa outside the West Wing of the White House following their meeting, Friday, Sept. 16, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South African President Cyril Ramaphosa denied allegations of money laundering while being questioned by lawmakers Thursday over a scandal that threatens his position and the direction of Africa’s most developed economy.

Ramaphosa already faces an investigation by police and a Parliament-appointed panel over the theft of a large amount of money in U.S. dollars from his ranch in 2020. He has been accused of illegally holding around $4 million in cash at his game ranch in northern South Africa and covering up its theft in an attempt to hide the existence of the money.

The allegations first surfaced in June when the former head of the national spy agency made a criminal complaint to police, accusing Ramaphosa of money laundering and other offenses.

“I deny that there was any form of money laundering,” Ramaphosa said in Parliament in Cape Town on Thursday. “It was the proceeds of the sale of game. I have been a game farmer for a number of years. That is an activity that sometimes results in the sale of animals.”

Ramaphosa has denied any wrongdoing in the incident but previously avoided questions about it, saying only that the theft did happen and that he reported it to the head of his presidential protection unit at the time.

The allegations have badly damaged his reputation as a leader intent on cleaning up both South Africa’s corruption-tainted government and his own ruling African National Congress party.

Ramaphosa said he would cooperate with any investigations into the incident. No criminal charges have been brought against him, but a police unit for serious and high-profile crimes is investigating.

The panel of independent legal experts appointed by Parliament will also decide if he has a case to answer for an alleged breach of his oath of office.

“I will cooperate to the fullest of my ability,” Ramaphosa told lawmakers.

The timing is terrible for the 69-year-old Ramaphosa, who is seeking reelection as leader of the ANC party at a conference in December. If he loses there, he would likely be forced out as president of the country.

Both Ramaphosa’s predecessors, Jacob Zuma and Thabo Mbeki, lost the confidence of the ANC and, as a result, resigned the presidency.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Nancy Faeser, Federal Minister of the Interior and Home Affairs talks to members of the press in Em...
Associated Press

German government seeks to ease rules for naturalization

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s socially liberal government is moving ahead with plans to ease the rules for obtaining citizenship in the European Union’s most populous country, a drive that is being assailed by the conservative opposition. Chancellor OIaf Scholz said in a video message Saturday that Germany has long since become “the country of hope” […]
1 day ago
Lilia Kristenko, 38, cries as city responders collect the dead body of her mother Natalia Kristenko...
Associated Press

Ukraine works to restore water, power after Russian strikes

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian authorities endeavored Saturday to restore electricity and water services after recent pummeling by Russian military strikes that vastly damaged infrastructure, with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy saying millions have seen their power restored since blackouts swept the war-battered country days earlier. Skirmishes continued in the east and residents from the southern city […]
1 day ago
FILE - Palestinian soccer fans wave Qatari and Palestinian flags as they watch a live broadcast of ...
Associated Press

Flashes of Arab unity at World Cup after years of discontent

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — For a brief moment after Saudi Arabia’s Salem Aldawsari fired a ball from just inside the penalty box into the back of the net to seal a World Cup win against Argentina, Arabs across the divided Middle East found something to celebrate. Such Arab unity is hard to come by and […]
1 day ago
FILE - MGM Grand Macau casino resort is closed in Macao on July 11, 2022. Macao has tentatively ren...
Associated Press

Macao awards casino licenses to MGM, Sands, Wynn, 3 others

BEIJING (AP) — Macao has tentatively renewed the casino licenses of MGM Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, Wynn Resorts and three Chinese rivals after they promised to help diversify its economy by investing in non-gambling attractions, the government said Saturday. The announcement is positive news for owners who have invested billions of dollars to build the […]
1 day ago
FILE - Local authorities inaugurate the Christmas lighting in the streets of Vigo, Spain, Nov. 19, ...
Associated Press

Sober or bright? Europe faces holidays during energy crunch

VERONA, Italy (AP) — Early season merrymakers sipping mulled wine and shopping for holiday decorations packed the Verona Christmas market for its inaugural weekend. But beyond the wooden market stalls, the Italian city still has not decked out its granite-clad pedestrian streets with twinkling holiday lights as officials debate how bright to make the season […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Today in History: November 26, the NHL is founded

Today in History Today is Saturday, Nov. 26, the 330th day of 2022. There are 35 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On Nov. 26, 1950, China entered the Korean War, launching a counteroffensive against soldiers from the United Nations, the U.S. and South Korea. On this date: In 1825, the first […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
South Africa’s Ramaphosa denies money-laundering allegations