PRETORIA, Dec 7 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Leaders of South Africa’s governing party have backed President Cyril Ramaphosa as he faces corruption allegations and a possible vote in parliament on impeachment.
He came to power pledging to tackle corruption but has now been caught up in his own crisis.
An independent report said Ramaphosa may have broken the law by allegedly covering up a theft at his farm.
He has denied any wrongdoing and his spokesman said the report was “flawed”.
The report, which was commissioned from a panel of legal experts by the speaker, will be debated in parliament. The African National Congress (ANC) leadership has said it will tell its MPs, who form the majority, to vote against its adoption.
This came after Ramaphosa challenged the report in the country’s Constitutional Court.
Earlier, leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema called for the arrest of the president alleging that he had committed a crime. Ramaphosa has not been charged with anything at this point.
Ramaphosa became president in 2018 after the resignation of Jacob Zuma, whose time in office had been weighed down by many such allegations.
This scandal erupted in June, when a former South African spy boss, Zuma-ally Arthur Fraser, filed a complaint with police accusing the president of hiding a theft of $4m in cash from his Phala Phala game farm in 2020.
Ramaphosa admitted that some money, which had been hidden in a sofa, had been stolen, but said it was $580,000 not $4m.
The president said the $580,000 had come from the sale of buffalo, but the panel, headed by a former chief justice, said it had “substantial doubt” about whether a sale took place.
In his submission to the Constitutional Court, Ramaphosa wants the country’s top judges to rule that the findings of the panel are unlawful and set aside. He is also asking the court to declare that any steps taken by parliament on the back of the release of the report to be declared unlawful and invalid. — NNN-AGENCIES