So much is happening in our country at the moment, that it’s almost impossible to keep up.
Lets start with the fact that President Cyril Ramaphosa had yet another cattle auction this weekend.
He is one of Africa’s leading breeders of Ankole cattle, sought after for their hardy genes and therefore able to fetch large sums of money at auction.
As a businessman, I understand that he has to get on with the business of making money.
But as our president, the optics are not great, considering that he is in the middle of a PR nightmare involving just such an auction.
Weeks before the first Covid lockdown, a similar auction left him with millions of dollars in cash in his hands, which he literally hid under his mattress.
That in turn led to heist that was only recently brought to light by former spy boss Arthur Fraser, a story with more twists and turns than Chappies, that has been dubbed “Farmgate”.
I trust that those who support Ramaphosa as president are not so blinded by that support that they will ignore possible wrongdoing by Ramaphosa the businessman.
Like most of my fellow South Africans, I also want answers to a series of serious questions that demand detailed explanations.
I don’t believe that the cash had anything to do with looting, but I am nonetheless curious (and even a little suspicious) about why he had millions stashed away at home.
Was it an attempt at money laundering, avoiding exchange control regulations, side-stepping his tax responsibilities or all of the above?
If it was proceeds from cattle sales as he claims, then how did buyers get so much foreign currency into the country unnoticed, and why wasn’t his takings banked immediately?
Cash transactions are always suspect, for all of these very reasons.
There are also questions from the other side of the looking glass.
Why did it take more than two years for Fraser to lay his criminal complaint?
Was he aware that crimes had been committed and chose to remain silent about it for so long; only to announce it six months before the ANC goes into a leadership conference?
His revelation happens to bring the ANC’s step-aside rule – championed by Ramaphosa himself – to an interesting and poetic head.
Because if Ramaphosa is indeed formally charged before December, he will not be allowed to accept a nomination, meaning he could in theory lose the party’s leadership and the presidency.
As I’ve said before, I expect my president’s morals to be well above reproach.
But I can’t help wondering whether or not this was all just a coincidence… or carefully choreographed cunning?