South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's alleged 2020 robbery at his game farm has been presented to authorities as a ruse by sacked former intelligence chief Arthur Fraser.
In a lengthy affidavit to police, Fraser alleged that the president had millions of U.S. dollars hidden in pieces of furniture at Phala Phala.
The statement to police said "One of the domestic workers employed at Phala Phala discovered undisclosed sums of US dollars concealed in the furniture of the President's residence at the farm.
The allegation was carried Sunday in the Johannesburg Sunday Times, citing details in the affidavit.
In remarks to his Twitter account, Ramaphosa posted "Some are casting aspersions about me and money," he said. "I want to assure you comrades that all this was money from proceeds from selling animals. I have never stolen money from anywhere, be it from out taxpayers, be it from anyone.
Fraser's statement said the money concealed in the furniture "had been unlawfully removed from the president's premises by the assailants."
The South African leader, instead of filing an official police report at the time of the robbery, chose instead to have Presidential Protection Unit Major General Wally Rhoode conduct an investigation.
Fraser asserts that several suspects were found and detained, and that cash and valuables were seized from them.
He also states these suspects were eventually released and paid RSA Rand $150,000 apiece to not talk about it.
Fraser is quoted as saying "The mere fact that President Ramaphosa had large undisclosed sums of foreign currency in the form of U.S. dollars concealed in his furniture at his Phala Phala resident is prima facie proof of money laundering."
A special police investigative unit, according to Bloomberg News, called the "Hawks" is now probing.
Unit spokesperson Thandi Mbambo said "At this stage, though, we are not in a position to say who is being investigated, as that will be informed by the investigation and evidence that will be collected."
Fraser, whom Ramaphosa removed in April 2018 from RSA's top security post, has been cast as an ally of former South Africa President Jacob Zuma, who has been targeted by the nation's massive "state capture" investigation.
In his present role as Prisons Chief, Fraser allowed Zuma to leave jail under "medical parole," permitting him home detention.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa's political opposition is raising its voices. One of them, Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen, says "The president is facing a crisis of credibility and cannot hide behind procedural smokescreens to avoid presenting South Africans with the full truth around the money that was stolen from his farm and the cover-up."
He closed with "Too many questions remain unanswered."