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Ramaphosa confirms farm theft but denies Fraser’s criminality claims

Ramaphosa confirms farm theft but denies Fraser’s criminality claims
FILE- South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa gives a statement on the coronavirus disease   -  
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JOHANNA GERON/AFP or licensors -

South Africa

South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa has debunked allegations of kidnapping and corruption levelled against him by the country’s former spy chief, Arthur Fraser.

"there is no basis for the claims of criminal conduct," Ramaphosa said, relating to an alleged cover-up of a burglary at one of his properties in 2020.

Arthur Fraser registered the case with the police, a statement available to the AFP on Wednesday had it.

He said the case related to the alleged attempted theft of at least $4m (£3.2m) in 2020 at a farm in Limpopo province and the alleged efforts to hide the incident.

According to Mr Fraser, who was head of the country's State Security Agency (SSA) between 2016 and 2018, photographs, bank account details and video footage over to the police, have been handed over to the police, AFP reported.

In a response on Twitter, Mr Ramaphosa's office confirmed that there was a robbery at the farm "in which proceeds from the sale of the game were stolen".

The president, who was out of the country at the time, reported the incident to the police's presidential protection unit, the statement from his office said.

He "stands ready to co-operate with any law enforcement investigation of these matters", it added.

Mr Fraser is seen as an ally of former President Jacob Zuma.

After running the SSA, Mr Fraser went on to head the country's prison service.

In September last year, he was responsible for ordering Zuma's release on medical parole nearly two months into his 15-month prison sentence for contempt of court.

He has also been accused of enabling corruption while he was running the SSA by witnesses at an inquiry into corruption in the country during the Zuma presidency.

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