According to a recent investigation, South Africa’s President Ramaphosa may face impeachment over the Farmgate scandal.
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Cyril Ramaphosa, the president of South Africa, may be subject to impeachment after an independent commission determined that he may have broken the law against corruption while looking into a robbery at his farm.
Ramaphosa is accused of covering up a $4 million theft from his Phala Phala farm in the country’s northeast in 2020 in what has come to be known as the “Farmgate” scandal. In addition to cooperating with Namibian law enforcement to capture, torture, and bribe the defendants, claims also include finding $580,000 of this money hidden beneath couch cushions.
Ramaphosa vehemently disputes the accusations and has not been put on trial for any crimes. He insists that the money came from the selling of the buffalo. He admits that the crime happened, but he maintains that the less money was taken than was claimed, and he rejects any involvement in a cover-up.
In order to give the panel’s recommendations some thought, Ramaphosa postponed his scheduled appearance before parliament on Thursday. His spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, also cancelled a scheduled media briefing.
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“I have endeavoured, throughout my tenure as President, not only to abide by my oath but to set an example of respect for the Constitution, for its institutions, for due process and the law,” Ramaphosa said in a statement Wednesday.
“I categorically deny that I have violated this oath in any way, and I similarly deny that I am guilty of any of the allegations made against me.”
Following a complaint made to police in June by Arthur Fraser, a former head of the nation’s State Security Agency and close ally of former President Jacob Zuma, the panel was established by the speaker of parliament in accordance with Section 89 of the constitution to consider whether the president should be put up for impeachment.
In its final report (pdf below)released on Wednesday, the committee concluded that the president has a case to answer for since it appears from the evidence that “there was a deliberate intention not to investigate the commission of the crimes committed at Phala Phala openly.”
“The President abused his position as Head of State to have the matter investigated and seeking the assistance of the Namibian President to apprehend a suspect,” the panel’s report alleged.
“There was more foreign currency concealed in the sofa than the amount reflected in the acknowledgement of receipt. This raises the source of the additional currency.”
In a statement issued in response to Fraser’s complaint, Namibian President Hage Geingob vehemently rejected any wrongdoing and referred to the accusations as “slanderous” and politically driven.
“The President of the Republic of Namibia liaises with other Heads of State on official matters, within established State-to-State diplomatic protocols, in accordance with the constitutional powers of the President and upon the dictates of international practices on mutual cooperation between Heads of State and Government,” the statement from Geingob’s office said.
“The Presidency therefore categorically denies insinuations that President Geingob may have acted inappropriately and/or participated or abetted in the apprehension of the individuals concerned.”
The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Crimes Act (PRECCA), which requires “persons in a position of authority” to report corrupt activities such theft, fraud, extortion, or forgery, may have been violated by Ramaphosa, the report concluded.
“We think that the president has a case to answer on the origin of the foreign currency that was stolen, as well as the underlying transaction for it,” the panel said.
Ramaphosa may have engaged in “serious misconduct” by “exposing himself to a situation with a conflict between his official responsibilities and his private company,” and he may have broken the law by “acting in a way that is inconsistent with his office,” according to the report.
The National Assembly of the nation will now review the findings to decide the best course of action, which may include impeachment.
Whether Ramaphosa, who was elected on an anti-corruption platform, may compete for a second term in government will be decided at a party conference being held by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) from December 16 to 20.
The political unrest comes as Ramaphosa works to push through long-overdue economic changes intended to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure, food and energy security, and job creation.
Read the report given below: