South African Authority Finds Ramaphosa, Game Farm Tax Compliant

South Africa’s tax agency said it found President Cyril Ramaphosa and the entities that run his cattle business tax compliant.

While taxpayers’ affairs are usually confidential, Ramaphosa gave the agency consent to make his status public, as he faces renewed scrutiny of his handling of the theft of foreign currency that was stashed in a sofa at his Phala Phala game farm. Opposition parties have questioned whether the president disclosed the income or violated exchange-control rules.  

Audits of the president and public officers for the companies Ntaba Nyoni Estate and Ntaba Nyoni Feedlot were concluded without any adverse findings, South African Revenue Service Commissioner Edward Kieswetter said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ramaphosa has said the stolen money was the proceeds of a sale of buffalo to Sudanese businessman Hazim Mustafa. While the president has denied wrongdoing, he considered resigning in December after an advisory panel found he may have breached the constitution over his handling of the burglary. The panel’s report was later quashed by parliament. 

On Monday, the revenue service said it was unable to find any record of the funds that Mustafa had brought into the country. Ramaphosa’s office said the buyer of the animals was obliged to declare the money to the authorities, not the president.

Kieswetter urged other high-profile political office bearers to take the same step and allow their tax statuses to be made public, to show their commitment to transparency.

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