FACTS as they say, can be troublesome. When lies form the basis for allegations, one simple fact can make a world of difference. Take the latest interview with businessman Hazim Mustafa. In a SkyNews exclusive, he relates how he declared $600 000 USD when he arrived in South Africa, and then proceeded to pay $480 000 for some bulls ‘for which he has a receipt’.
That’s right, the money was declared at customs and the purchase occurred whilst the President was away. Phala Phala itself appears to be owned by a trust. Instead of banking the money, it seems staff decided to make use of the opportunity to stage a theft.
The result isn’t all that difficult to understand. Phala Phala staff proceed to hide the money in a place where it can easily be found by criminals who then broke into the ranch on camera, going directly to the funds. The money disappears, the President returns and reports the crime to a Police General, Major-General Wally Rhoode, who has been co-opted to the National Executive. The rest of the story is less sanguine and is incredibly problematic.
Head of Presidential Security of course, is none other than Rhoode, who is currently under suspension pending an investigation, and this following his own clumsy investigation and sloppy handling of the affair. There does seem to be an attempt to hush-up the result, perhaps to avoid security being implicated in the theft, or merely to protect national security? There may yet be outstanding issues to do with influence-peddling and tax evasion?
Enter Arthur Fraser, a rogue intelligence agent (see here and here), who it appears is still receiving intelligence briefings despite being implicated in large-scale larceny, abuse of intelligence resources, which include allegations of missing money running into millions from the Intelligence budget and the compromising of national security.
Fraser relates that merely because of ‘his position as former Director-General of Intelligence’ under Jacob Zuma, his ‘advice is regularly sought in relation to security and intelligence matters’ and that ‘unsolicited information is regularly brought to his attention by various people and entities‘ . Though he does not provide any further details, Fraser proceeds to impugn the Intelligence and Security Cluster surrounding the President.
It is no coincidence that Fraser is named in Volume 6 of the Zondo Report, into allegations of state capture, implicating him in major intelligence breaches. He thus concocts a rather bizarre plot in order to save his own skin, and also that of his former boss Jacob Zuma.
At first he alleges the President failed to report the theft and is laundering an undisclosed amount of money, the ‘quantum of which is speculated to be in the region of $4 million to $8 million’. None of which involves tax evasion and influence-peddling. The sheer bulk alone is problematic due to the weight of foreign exchange which is alleged to have been ‘hidden in furniture’, and which Fraser avers now constitutes a ‘prima facie case of money laundering’.
All the allegations are spun from the events at Phala Phala. Then he adds additional narrative via a supplement that appears to be cut-and-pasted right out of the Zondo Report. Instead of Gupta’s and the events surrounding Waterkloof Airforce Base, (where Fraser failed to report any of the resulting offences named by Justice Zondo), he now seeks to deflect the nation’s attention towards ‘Waterkloof Dollars’ arriving from distant lands such as Sudan in the form of bribes.
Problem with this narrative, aside from the fact that Fraser is no longer Director-General of Intelligence where he failed to protect the Republic from state capture — if the money has been declared at customs, it can’t be said to have been laundered. If the transaction is legitimate, and customs corroborate Mustafa’s version of events. It is basically chalk and cheese, and so lights out for Fraser. You’re busted.
At very least he has egg on his face — If Fraser was indeed in receipt of intelligence briefings on the matter (unsolicited or not), he would surely know the President has an alibi? But what if he was (or not), and then still wished to use the information for political gain? His Affidavit cannot simply be introduced on the basis of hearsay and speculation. And it cannot be put to an open court as if he were still DG operating under the Secrecy Act? It may be a miscalculation on his part, but more likely, he has calculated that the damage caused by his allegations would be sufficient for him to reach his own objectives, which appear to be anything but lawful.
Fraser at last count, was alleging via the daily press that he had “refused a R50 million offer from a Cape Town underworld boss to make the Phala Phala case against President Cyril Ramaphosa “go away”.’
Are we to believe there are now 20 assassins hiding under the Sofa?
Fraser’s Affidavit’s are therefore an exercise in hyperbole, purposeful exaggeration. Expect these allegations to get wilder and wilder. All are calculated to scandalise and shift the blame away from a culprit responsible for a massive failure of intelligence during the period of state capture.
Questions remain — why has Fraser not been arrested given the seriousness of the crimes to which he is accused in Volume 6 of the Zondo Report?
Did the President declare his capital gains and losses resulting from the crime, and was he entitled to Presidential Security detail at Phala Phala?
Did Rhoode go beyond the call of duty, and to what extant is Fraser involved?
Falsely accusing another person of a crime, is also a crime. Providing false testimony in an Affidavit is, yep, a crime.
This isn’t #Farmgate, it’s another #Spygate as in the Information Scandal.