In the face of legal reviews initiated by political parties, the Office of the Public Protector maintains unwavering support for its Phala Phala report. The Chief Operating Officer, Nelisiwe Nkabinde, asserted that the investigating team, despite encountering robust debate and disagreements, is confident in the thoroughness of its probe.
The report’s release in June, which exonerated President Cyril Ramaphosa of any wrongdoing related to stolen foreign currency from his Limpopo farm, sparked controversy and raised questions from opposition parties.
Addressing the Cape Town Press Club, Nkabinde acknowledged the heightened significance of the Phala Phala investigation due to its association with the head of state. She emphasized the team’s commitment to learning from past court judgments and considering the roles of other agencies during the investigative process.
Despite facing accusations against acting Public Protector Kholeka Gcaleka, who was alleged to have made a favorable finding for personal gain, she stands by the team’s conclusion, expressing confidence in the vigor of their teamwork.
The Phala Phala report found no violations of exchange controls, as the sale intended to buy game from the president’s farm had not been finalized. Despite legal challenges, the Office of the Public Protector asserts that the investigation adhered to legal standards and properly cleared President Ramaphosa of any misconduct.