(Bloomberg) -- A panel of South African lawmakers will probe allegations that police funds were abused to conceal a robbery at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s private game farm and that Zizi Kodwa, the deputy state security minister, was party to the cover-up.
The allegations will be investigated by parliament’s intelligence committee, which holds its hearings in-camera, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the speaker of the National Assembly, said in a statement on Thursday. Her announcement came after the Democratic Alliance, the main opposition party, requested that a special committee be established to probe the matter, which may have allowed for an open process.
Arthur Fraser, the former head of South Africa’s national spy agency, dropped a bombshell in June when he laid charges against Ramaphosa, alleging that he failed to report the 2020 theft of more than $4 million from his Phaala Phaala game farm in the northern Limpopo province.
The Hawks, a special police investigative unit, and the nation’s graft ombudsman have instituted separate probes of the matter.
READ: Is South Africa’s Ramaphosa Headed the Same Way as UK’s Johnson?
The president has admitted that money he made from selling animal was stolen, but far less that Fraser alleged, and denied doing anything wrong. He’s refused to answer questions about what transpired, and opposition parties says they want clarity on whether he violated tax or exchange control rules.
News24, a Cape Town-based website reported on Wednesday that the burglars took $600,000 in cash, the proceeds from the sale of a buffalo to an unidentified buyer from Dubai. it didn’t say where it got the information.
Kodwa denied any involvement in a cover-up.
“I have responded to the intelligence committee and the allegation is pure fabrication,” he said by phone from Pretoria, the capital. “I had no knowledge of the alleged crime.”
Last week, Mapisa-Nqakula announced that a panel of experts will be appointed to establish Ramaphosa’s fitness to hold office after the African Transformation Movement, a small opposition party, filed an application for a motion of no confidence against him.
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