Die amptelike persverklaring wat hieronder ingesluit word, is nie 'n nuusberig deur Kerkbode nie. Die persverklaring word in sy geheel hier gepubliseer vir die rekord en ter wille van lidmate se vrye toegang tot amptelike inligting in die kerk.
Die Suid-Afrikaanse Raad vir Kerke (SARK) het meer vrae as antwoorde na die Reserwebank (SARB) se onlangse mediavrystelling rakende die instansie se ondersoek oor die Phala Phala aangeleentheid.
So sê biskop Malusi Mpumlwana, algemene sekretaris van die SARK, in ’n onlangse verklaring waarin hy namens die ekumeniese liggaam waarvan die NG Kerk ook lid is, ’n beroep doen op die Reserwebank om vir die publiek meer insae te bied in hulle ondersoek deur hulle verslag beskikbaar te maak.
Lees die verklaring hier soos uitgereik op 21 Augustus 2023.
The South African Council of Churches (SACC) has found the media release of the South Africa Reserve Bank (SARB) on its investigation into the Phala Phala matter confusing and inspiring more questions than answers, as several points remained unclear at its conclusion.
In it’s media release dated 21 August 2023, the SARB concluded that, “… there was no perfected transaction and thus the SARB cannot conclude that there was any contravention of the Exchange Control Regulations (the applicable Regulation is Regulation 6(1)) by Ntaba Nyoni Estates CC (the entity involved) or for that matter by the President.” The release also stated that, “Due to legislative requirements and constraints which apply to the SARB, the report by the SARB into this matter is a private internal report and will not be made available to the public.”
The SACC, along with the South African public, is therefore left to piece together what it can from the select findings that were shared, which, frankly, offer very little on the investigation that was conducted for it to ensure accountability for the foreign currency found at Phala Phala farm owned by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Premise of SARB Investigation
As the SACC, we do believe it would be important to make it clear what exactly the SARB investigated, beyond stipulating that the investigation was conducted in two phases.
The expectation of the South African public is that the SARB would investigate the legality of any individual, let alone the President, alleged to have had as much foreign currency in cash; and if those funds were declared to determine their origin and intended purpose, with the required proof to confirm this.
However, the media release does not clarify this. This has left us asking whether the investigation of the SARB rather sought to determine if the transaction to purchase wildlife from the President’s farm had actually been concluded, which we do not believe to ever have been the question the public wanted answered. Even more confusing is that the report concludes that, “… there was no legal entitlement, within the meaning of Regulation (6)(1), on the part of Ntaba Nyoni Estates CC, to the foreign currency”. This begs more questions, whose money would this have been? Who was entitled to it? Or is there another technical meaning of “entitled” in the SARB regulations? But above all, how did the money get there, to which no one is entitled?
“We struggled to reach an understanding as to what these final conclusions of the SARB investigation actually mean; we found the statement unhelpful,” said Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, General Secretary of the SACC.
Are we, therefore, to understand that – based on what the SARB has not said in its media release – that the average citizen can keep any amount of money in foreign currency, for any length of time, with no expectation that this currency should be declared using the appropriate channels?
“We wanted to know how these funds entered the country, and to be offered some assurance that this was in fact a legal transaction. While the SARB media release laid no wrong-doing at the foot of the President, it did nothing to reassure us that there is a paper trail to support the origins and intended use of these funds,” said the Bishop.
The SACC is, therefore, calling for the SARB to offer more insight into its investigation findings by sharing its report, in order to demonstrate that every citizen of the country is held to the same banking laws and regulations – regardless of the citizen’s standing in society. If the report cannot be immediately made public, we should look forward to when it will be presented to Parliament, where the SARB normally reports.
“This should indeed be occasioned pretty soon to enable all of us to understand the investigation process, and see how they arrived at their conclusions. We all need more clarity than has been given on such a critically important matter. We believe that this is in the best interests of both the South African public and the President himself,” said Mpumlwana.
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