The man accused of being the mastermind behind the February 2020 theft at President Cyril Ramaphosa’s house, at his Phala Phala game farm in Limpopo has appeared in the Bela-Bela Magistrate’s Court seeking release on bail.
Imanuwela David, 39, is charged alongside siblings Froliana Joseph, who was a domestic worker at the Phala Phala farm and her brother, Ndilinasho Joseph.
The Joseph siblings were released on bail last month. The State did not oppose bail, and it was set at R5 000 for Froliana and R10 000 for Ndilinasho.
Their stringent bail conditions include that they hand over their passports, and they may not leave the Bela-Bela area without informing the police.
However, accused number one, David, was remanded in custody, paving the way for his formal bail application.
David’s bail application was heard by magistrate Predeshni Ponnan on Wednesday, and the matter is set to continue on Thursday.
Applicant Imanuwela David has more than three residential addresses and one of the addresses belongs to a family friend,” Limpopo spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Mashudu Malabi-Dzhangi, told IOL.
She said David, giving evidence in his bail application before the court on Wednesday, testified that he has no other assets besides a shack and two dogs.
The State is opposing bail for David. Investigating officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ludi Rolf Schnell told the court that the police have unearthed that David owns a Mercedes-Benz, and lived at a luxurious estate in Cape Town after the Phala Phala theft.
Last month, Malabi-Dzhangi said that in David’s case, the bail application will be opposed for reasons that could not be disclosed.
“We cannot disclose the information at this stage. The public will hear the reason (for opposing bail for David) during the bail hearing, because it will harm our case,” Malabi-Dzhangi told broadcaster Newzroom Afrika at the time.
“On December 6, we are prepared to oppose the bail (application). We are prepared to take our witness to the stand in order to oppose the bail hearing of accused number one (David).”
The three suspects are facing several charges in connection with the theft of $580 000 (around R10.87 million) on February 9, 2020, at the president’s farmhouse.
The three accused are charged with housebreaking and the theft. David faces an additional charge of money laundering.