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HomeNewsCape Town-based property developer ‘linked’ to farmgate cash

Cape Town-based property developer ‘linked’ to farmgate cash

Cape Town-based property developer ‘linked’ to farmgate cash

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Cape Town – A Cape Town based-based property developer has emerged as an alleged central figure in helping President Cyril Ramaphosa’s special adviser, Bejani Chauke, store more than $20 million (about R363m) in cash three weeks after the Phala Phala farm scandal was exposed.

This is contained in a document apparently authored by former State Security Director General Arthur Fraser and forms part of UDM leader Bantu Holomisa’s submission to the independent parliamentary panel, established to determine whether Ramaphosa has a case to answer over the scandal.

The letter, believed to have been intended to assist the Hawks in their probe, claims that property mogul Zahir Vallie, owner of Z Prop, was contacted by Chauke three weeks after charges were laid against Ramaphosa.

Chauke, according to the document is “said to have moved $20 million in cash” to Vallie for “safekeeping”.

“He is known to bring large amounts of foreign currency into South Africa from the Middle East without declarations, through Cape Town International Airport.

Information received indicates that all his properties bought are cash purchases.”

It claims Vallie’s business, Z Prop, property portfolio is valued at R800 million.

Z Prop is identified on its website as an independent real estate company operating from Lansdowne and specialising in buying, developing and managing residential rental properties in the Southern suburbs.

It was established in 2016.

“It is well known that his properties are running at a considerable financial loss, with low returns, clearly a sign of significant money laundering,” according to the document.

Numerous enquiries to Chauke and Vallie have none unanswered.

Probed about the allegations relating to Vallie, Hawks spokesperson Thandi Mbambo said they would leave no stone unturned in their investigation.

“We can confirm that the investigation pertaining to the robbery at Phala Phala and subsequent corruption, fraud and money laundering investigation still continues.

To protect the integrity of our investigation we are unfortunately not at liberty to disclose who is and has been questioned pertaining to the matter, but it is safe to say, no stone will be left unturned.”

Meanwhile the DA has emerged as the only party among the top four opposition parties that did not make submissions to the panel.

Asked why, DA chief whip Siviwe Gwarube said ATM’s submission covered most of the relevant points.

“The request for a submission to the Independent Panel made it clear that those should be made if parties have new and uncovered information that the panel should consider.

“Having studied the ATM’s submission regarding the conduct of the president, it was clear that the DA does not have any new information to submit for investigation which isn’t already in the public domain.

“So we will continue monitoring this process and look forward to its conclusion.”

MPs had until last week to submit information to the three-member panel. Ramaphosa was expected to respond to the information received from October 28 until November 6.

The panel will consider all information received, conduct any additional research required, deliberate on the facts and write and finalise its report between November 7 until November 17.

Ramaphosa has been facing mounting pressure to step aside to allow for the investigations in the matter to proceed smoothly since Fraser lifted the lid on the theft, when he laid a charge in the Rosebank police station in June.

In that explosive affidavit, Fraser said Ramaphosa kept foreign currency concealed in his furniture at his Phala Phala farm, as prima facie proof of money laundering.

It has been claimed that about R62m was stolen and people were to keep quiet about the matter.

Ramaphosa has confirmed the incident but claimed the amount involved was far less.

Cape Times

Original Article

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