SA denies receiving Namibia’s request over Phala Phala farm probe

The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services has denied allegations that it received a request from Namibia for assistance in probing David Imanuwela, who is allegedly behind the burglary at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in Limpopo.

This after the Namibian government reportedly requested assistance with an investigation into Imanuela, one of the five men suspected of breaking into Ramaphosa’s farm in February 2020.

Spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said on Tuesday that the ministry has been following media reports about the purported request and can confirm that it has not received a request of that nature from its Namibian counterparts.

“We can categorically state that, to date, there is no official record of this specific request,” Phiri said in a statement. “South Africa and its sister Republic of Namibia continue to work together in a collaborative manner on issues of mutual legal assistance in accordance with the Southern African Development Community protocol and other related bilateral treaties.

“So far, there has not been any development that necessitates any change of approach when dealing with matters of this nature.”

According to media reports, the Namibian authorities requested assistance after they failed to prosecute Imanuwela, whom they had arrested after he was found of illegally crossing the Namibian border with the help from the police.

Imanuwela was released after spending months behind bars as the Namibian authorities could not get legal help from South Africa’s Justice Ministry.

Explaining the process that one state would need to undertake in terms of requesting assistance, Phiri said the requesting state would need to submit the request to the South African embassy or the high commission in that particular state.

The request will then be submitted to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco). According to Phiri, Dirco would then provide proof of receipt and then transmit the request to the director-general of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

“Alternatively, the requesting state can serve the request for mutual legal assistance via its embassy or high commission in the state from which it seeks information or assistance. The requesting state’s embassy or high commission will serve the request on Dirco, which will then provide proof of receipt and transmit the request to the central authority.

“When reference is made to diplomatic channels, these are the processes that are being referred to.”

Meanwhile, uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association’s former spokesperson Carl Niehaus has called for a citizen’s arrest of Ramaphosa.

In a statement on Tuesday, Niehaus said: “Under the circumstances with what had been revealed about the Phala Phala farm shenanigans of Cyril Ramaphosa it will be, in terms of the Criminal Procedures Act No 51 of 1977, and the constitution of SA’s Act No 108 of 1996, perfectly correct and reasonable for any SA citizen to carry out a citizen’s arrest of Cyril Ramaphosa.

“I would like to urge all of us, as concerned South African citizens, whenever and wherever we get the chance to do exactly that, to arrest Cyril Ramaphosa immediately and take him to the closet police station.”


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Nompilo Zulu

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