South Africa’s scandal-ridden president will not resign

Cyril Ramaphosa is accused of covering up a burglary at his home and bribing burglars.

South Africa’s scandal-plagued president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has no plans to step down. A spokesman for the president says so.

Pressure on Ramaphosa to step down has intensified this week amid reports of a break-in at his farm in which over half a million dollars in cash was stolen.

The president allegedly covered up the burglary.

On Wednesday, a panel in South Africa’s parliament said Ramaphosa “may have committed” acts that are against the law and the constitution. That statement could pave the way for impeachment proceedings against the president.

The panel consists of three members, one of whom is a former Chief Legal Officer of South Africa’s highest court.

– The president is not resigning on the basis of a flawed report, says Vincent Magwenya, spokesperson for the president.

Ramaphosa has been under pressure since June, when a former spy chief reported a case to the police alleging that the president concealed a burglary at his home that took place in February 2020 from the authorities.

The spy chief says Ramaphosa arranged for the burglars to be abducted and bribed to keep quiet about the burglary.

The president himself has denied that he has done anything wrong.

Ramaphosa, who in addition to being president is also chairman of the African National Congress (ANC) party, has not been charged with anything.

But the scandal could not come at a worse time for the president. On 16 December there will be an election for chairman in the ruling party ANC. If you have that post, you are also president of the country.

– The president has taken the unequivocal message from the ruling party to make himself available for a second term as leader of the ANC to himself, says the spokesman.

The case contains startling details. Among other things, it is said that the stolen cash should have been hidden in sofa cushions.

Ramaphosa says the large sum of money stashed on his farm was payment for buffaloes he had sold to a Sudanese businessman.

But the panel’s report questioned that the Sudanese man’s identity could not be confirmed and that the buffaloes reportedly sold were still at the president’s farm.

The scandal has also cast a shadow over Ramaphosa, who has tried to portray himself as the antithesis of the corruption-plagued era of his predecessor, Jacob Zuma.

When he became president in 2018, he promised to ensure that the corruption in the South African state institutions was cleaned up.

Ramaphosa’s future must now be decided by the leadership of the ANC. It was the ANC which led the anti-apartheid movement under Nelson Mandela.


Source: Kristeligt Dagblad – Latest articles. by

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