May 31, 2023

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Uncertainty over President Ramaphosa’s future in South Africa after scandal over US$580,000 hidden in sofa

FILE PHOTO: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (REUTERS / Isa Alexander)

South African President’s Political Future, Cyril RamaphosaThis Friday was reeling after a scandal Robot Cash was found hidden in a sofa at one of his properties.

Nelson Mandela’s party, wracked by corruption and internal divisions, debated the future of their presidency in Johannesburg this Friday. Majority in Parliament since 1994, formation ANC (African National Congress) Elect a head of state since the end of apartheid and the establishment of democracy.

The party’s general secretary, Paul Mashadile, said he wanted to examine the facts more carefully before meeting again. “The debates are tough, but [Rampahosa] He will come out unscathed,” said a senior party official on condition of anonymity. “The environment continues to be urgent,” the president’s supporter said.

But President Ramaphosa’s absence from this emergency session of the ANC has caused chaos among its members. Although he finally did not appear, Ramaphosa promised earlier in the day that he would appear to deal with his case. Earlier, he had promised a speech to the nation to explain the scandal surrounding him, though he later canceled it.

Presidential Spokesperson, Vincent Makwenya (REUTERS / Esa Alexander)
Presidential Spokesperson, Vincent Makwenya (REUTERS / Esa Alexander)

Ramaphosa, 70, spent the whole of Thursday conferring with party leaders. In the morning, people “close to” the president told local press that he would not run for office. But at night Rumors of his retirement have died down A section of the manufacturing and commercial sector later came out to protect it.

“The people who make the decision as leader of the ANC don’t want him to leave,” he summed up the agency. AFP An unnamed party leader.

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Friday too The head of the Anglican Church came to his support. “No one should be above the law, but passing a final judgment on a person based on a preliminary hearing panel that has not made a final determination of the facts can lead to illegality,” Bishop Thabo said. Makoba, heir to Desmond Tutu.

South African Energy and Mines Minister Kwade Mantashe denied on Friday that Ramaphosa was considering resigning. “It would be premature for the president to resign without due process,” senior ANC leader Mantashe told local television. Newsroom Africa.

South Africa's Energy and Mines Minister Gwede Mandashe denied Ramaphosa was considering resigning (REUTERS/Mike Hutchings)
South Africa’s Energy and Mines Minister Gwede Mandashe denied Ramaphosa was considering resigning (REUTERS/Mike Hutchings)

Thursday Two ministers urged the president to resign. One, Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, ex-wife of former President Jacob Zuma, lost the 2017 ANC leadership race to Ramaphosa. The other is Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, who is campaigning to be elected ANC leader this month.

At the beginning of the week, all seemed well for the president Africa’s first industrial power. Ramaphosa is favorite to win a second term of confidence in 2024 if the party wins the election, two weeks before a crucial ANC congress.

But on Wednesday A parliamentary committee issued a report About him Jack Jack corruptionAfter the name of the ranch owned by the president, he raises cattle, his second biggest passion after politics.

Ramaphosa may have committed “violations and misdemeanours” of the Anti-Corruption Act in connection with a 2020 heist at the farm, after which $580,000 was found in wads hidden under sofa cushions. “An underutilized guest room,” says the report.

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The scandal erupted in June Former Chief of Intelligence, close to Ramaphosa’s opponents in the ANC, filed a lawsuit. According to him, some thieves broke into the farm, which brought to light the money hidden in the furniture, but the president did not report the incident to the police or the treasury.

A person reads a newspaper "criminal" South African President Cyril Ramaphosa's future hangs by a thread (REUTERS / Esa Alexander)
A man reads a newspaper captioned “Guilty” as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s future hangs in the balance (REUTERS/Esa Alexander)

Ramaphosa has always denied the facts. He alleged that the money came from the legitimate sale of animals on his farm.

May be subject to the President Removal process. Parliament meets on Tuesday to vote on whether to implement the process. Article 89 of the Constitution allows the impeachment of a sitting President for gross violation of the Magna Carta, misconduct or inability to perform the duties of office.

Many influential members of the ANC have already positioned themselves to support the president. “We will go to parliament on Tuesday, reject this report and life will go on as before,” said MP Mathole Motsheka, an outspoken Ramaphosa supporter.

The South African opposition Democratic Alliance (AD) has tabled a motion to dissolve the government in parliament this Friday, leading to early elections. The AD party pointed out that the scandal that rocked Ramaphosa “confirms that the ANC is rotten from top to bottom”.

(With information from AFP, EFE and EuropaPress)

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