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

Uncertainty in South Africa over President Ramaphosa’s future after scandal of over US$580,000 hidden in sofa
FILE PHOTO: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (Reuters/Isa Alexander)

the political future of the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosawas reeling on Friday, after a scandal about a Looting On one of his properties where wads of cash were found hidden in a sofa.

Senior figures in Nelson Mandela’s party, saddled with corruption and internal divisions, gathered on Friday in Johannesburg to discuss the future of their president. Majority in Parliament since 1994, formation ANC (African National Congress) Choosing the head of state since the end of apartheid and the establishment of democracy.

The party’s general secretary, Paul Machatel, said the party wanted to examine the facts more carefully before meeting again. Debates are tough, however [Rampahosa] “He will come out unharmed,” said a senior party official, who requested anonymity. “The environment remains urgent,” a supporter of the president gushed.

But The absence of President Ramaphosa at this emergency session of the ANC caused turmoil among its members. Ramaphosa had confirmed the day before that he would come to deal with his case, although he did not finally show up. On the eve of this, he also promised to address the nation to explain the scandal that had surrounded him, although he later rescinded this.

Spokesman for the President Vincent Maguiña (Reuters/Issa Alexander)
Spokesman for the President Vincent Maguiña (Reuters/Issa Alexander)

Ramaphosa, 70, spent the entire day Thursday consulting party leaders. In the morning, people “close” to the president told the local press that he would not fight to stay in office. But at night Rumors of his retirement have vanished After part of the formation and the business sector came out to defend it.

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“The people who decide on the leadership of the ANC do not want him to leave,” the agency summed up. France Press agency Party leader, without revealing his identity.

Until Friday The head of the Anglican Church came out in his favour. Bishop Thabo said, “No one should be above the law, but to pass a final judgment on a person based on what is, in fact, a preliminary commission of inquiry, which has not made a final decision on the facts, can lead to lawlessness.” Makjuba, successor to Desmond Tutu.

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

South Africa's Energy and Minerals Minister, Gwede Mantashe, has denied that Ramaphosa is considering quitting (Reuters/Mike Hutchings)
South Africa’s Energy and Minerals Minister, Gwede Mantashe, has denied that Ramaphosa is considering quitting (Reuters/Mike Hutchings)

Thursday Two ministers demanded the resignation of the President of the Republic. One of them was Minister for Collaborative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the ex-wife of former President Jacob Zuma, who narrowly lost the 2017 ANC leadership race to Ramaphosa. The other is Tourism Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, who campaigned to be elected leader of the ANC this month.

At the start of the week, everything seemed to be going well for Raees Africa’s first industrial power. Two weeks before a crucial ANC congress, Ramaphosa is the front-runner to win a second term in 2024, contingent on the party winning the election.

But on Wednesday A parliamentary committee published a report about him Vala Vala scandalafter a farm owned by the chief, where he raises cattle, his second great passion after politics.

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Ramaphosa “could have committed” ACA “infractions and misdemeanors” in the context of a 2020 robbery at this ranch, after which it was discovered that there were $580,000 in bags stashed under sofa cushions, in a “little used guest room,” according to the report. to report.

The scandal broke in June when Former head of the intelligence serviceHe, close to Ramaphosa’s critics in the ANC, sued. According to him, some thieves broke into the farmhouse and uncovered the money hidden in the furniture, but the chief did not report the incident to the police or treasury.

Someone reading a newspaper says "sinner" While the future of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa hangs by a thread (Reuters/Issa Alexander)
A person reading a newspaper reads “Guilty” as the future of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa hangs in the balance (REUTERS/Isa Alexander)

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

The president may be subject to removal process. Parliament meets on Tuesday to vote on whether or not to activate this process. Article 89 of the Constitution allows for the removal of a sitting president on grounds of serious breach of Magna Carta, misconduct, or inability to perform the duties of office.

Many influential members of the ANC have already positioned themselves for the president. “We will go to Parliament on Tuesday, we will reject this report and life will continue as before,” said Matul Muchikja MP, a supporter of Ramaphosa.

The South African opposition Democratic Alliance party On Friday, (Prof. Dr.) submitted a proposal to parliament to dissolve the government, which would lead to early elections. AD noted that the Ramaphosa scandal “confirms that the ANC is rotten from top to bottom”.

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(With information from AFP, EFE and EuropaPress)

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Aygen Marsh

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