(Bloomberg) -- Burglars took $600,000 in cash from a game farm owned by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, far less than the amount that had been previously speculated to have been stolen, News24 reported, without saying where it got the information.
The money was the proceeds from the sale of a buffalo to an unidentified buyer from Dubai, the Johannesburg-based news website said. The cash had been stored in a cupboard, it said.
South African former spy chief Arthur Fraser laid charges against Ramaphosa in June alleging that the theft of more than $4 million that was hidden inside furniture at the game farm had not been properly reported. Ramaphosa has refused to answer any questions about the incident, including those posed to him by lawmakers, though he has submitted responses to the nation’s graft ombudsman that haven’t been made public.
Fraser’s allegations had raised speculation that Ramaphosa may have breached South Africa’s foreign currency and tax laws.
Ramaphosa’s spokesman, Vincent Magwenya, said by text message that while he couldn’t confirm the amount cited by News24, his office has “always said the amount given by Fraser is exaggerated.”
The mobile phone of Hendrik von Wielligh, Ramaphosa’s farm manager who News24 said received the $600,000, was switched off when Bloomberg called.
(Updates with comment by presidency official. An earlier version of this story corrected the amount and name of news website in the final sentence.)
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