Cyril Ramaphosa faces impeachment calls over money stolen from his ranch


Johannesburg, South Africa
CNN

Cyril Ramaphosa was elected to root out corruption. Now, he could be forced to resign over allegations that he Covering up the theft A huge amount of money from his lucrative game farm, which – by his own admission – was stuffed into a leather couch.

President of South Africa He is being investigated in an ongoing scandal linked to the theft of more than $500,000 in cash from his game farm in 2020. The money was stuffed inside a leather sofa as per the commission’s investigation.

The commission, chaired by a former chief justice, found that the crime had not been reported to the police and that there was a “deliberate decision to keep the investigation secret”.

Former South African intelligence chief Arthur Fraser alleged that the theft occurred with the complicity of a domestic worker and claimed that the theft was hidden from the police and the Revenue Service. Fraser, whose allegations are detailed in Investigation reportRamaphosa said the perpetrators paid for their silence.

Ramaphosa asserted that the money was from the sale of buffaloes on his farm in Fala Fala to a Sudanese businessman, and that the theft had been reported to the Chief of Presidential Security.

The president also disputes Fraser’s claims that the amount hidden on his ranch was more than $4 million.

“Some cast suspicion on me and the money. I want to assure you that all of this was money from the proceeds of selling animals. I didn’t steal money from anywhere. Whether it was from our taxpayers, whether it was from anyone. I never did that.” “You’ll never do that,” he said while addressing members of the ruling African National Congress party in June this year.

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He is a well-known owner and trader of rare buffaloes, livestock and other wildlife, and has become a millionaire through his buffalo ranch.

The commission found that the explanations given by Ramaphosa were not yet sufficient and that he could have violated the constitution and oath of office by obtaining a second income as president.

Senior ANC leaders are due to meet later on Thursday to discuss the report. While the party has a “stand down” rule for misconduct, ANC national spokesman Paul Mabe told local television it only applied to those “criminally charged”. . . ”

Ramaphosa was recently honored at Buckingham Palace for the first state visit hosted by King Charles, but closer to home, scandal threatens to end his political career, with speculation swirling around the country’s political circles that he might step down.

The ANC’s electoral conference to select its leadership is scheduled for mid-December, but it is likely to be dominated by problems for the president.

South Africa’s official opposition leader was quick to call for impeachment and snap elections.

The report is clear and unambiguous. President Ramaphosa has likely breached a number of constitutional provisions and has a case to answer. “The impeachment proceedings related to his conduct must continue, and he will have to provide much better and more comprehensive explanations than we have given thus far,” said John Steenhausen, leader of the Democratic Alliance.

The committee was appointed by the Speaker of Parliament following a proposal from a smaller opposition party.

The report will be considered by the National Assembly and may initiate impeachment proceedings – although the ANC retains a majority of seats.

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Ramaphosa took office after his predecessor, Jacob Zuma, was forced to resign over multiple allegations of corruption.

A former labor union president and multi-millionaire from his business career, Ramaphosa has said repeatedly that fighting corruption is a priority of his presidency.

But the ANC has, by all accounts, been riven by factional politics during its tenure. Some allies of former President Zuma are now publicly calling for Ramaphosa to step down.

Shortly after the report’s findings were published, Ramaphosa’s office reiterated its statement to the committee, “I have endeavored throughout my term as President, not only to keep an oath but to set an example in respect for the Constitution and its institutions, for legal and legal process. I categorically deny that I have violated this oath.” In no way, and likewise, do I plead guilty to any of the allegations made against me.”

The presidential office said Ramaphosa would study the report and make an announcement “at the appropriate time”.

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