No resignation in sight of the South African president, embarrassed by a scandal

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No resignation in sight for South African president, hampered by scandal

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa during the Business Forum at Lancaster House on November 23, 2022 in London.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, under threat from a impeachment procedure, has no intention of resigning and will fight politically and judicially, several of his relatives said on Saturday.

He will stay, there is no doubt, said his Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola on the public broadcaster SABC. And the president's spokesman has confirmed to AFP that he is seriously considering challenging the report of a parliamentary committee which overwhelms him by way of justice.

Mr. Ramaphosa has been the subject of a complaint since June accusing him of trying to cover up a burglary at one of his properties in 2020, during which $ 580,000 in cash hidden in a sofa were stolen, and for not reporting the incident to the police or the tax authorities.

This complaint has not given rise to prosecution to date and the police investigation is continuing.

But on Wednesday a parliamentary commission, made up of three members, including a former president of the highest court in the country, considered that Mr. Ramaphosa may have committed acts contrary to the law and the Constitution, paving the way for an impeachment procedure which could be voted on Tuesday in Parliament.

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“The President is seriously considering asking the court to quash the report.

—Vincent Magwenya, Spokesperson for President Cyril Ramaphosa

It is perhaps in the long-term interest and sustainability of our constitutional democracy, far beyond the Ramaphosa presidency, to question such a patently flawed report, especially when used as a benchmark to impeach a sitting head of state, he explained .

Several legal experts have criticized the report for relying heavily on hearsay, proliferating speculation and rhetorical questions.

But it also raises real questions about the version of events put forward by the president, who denies any dishonesty. I have never stolen money and I never will, he said when the case was revealed in June.

According to him, the cash stolen from his house came from the sale to a Sudanese businessman of twenty buffaloes. Normal practice is to bank the money the next business day, the report notes.

And why then are these buffaloes bought by a certain Mustafa Mohamed Ibrahim Hazim, whose identity could not be verified, still on Mr. Ramaphosa's Phala Phala estate, a two-hour drive from Pretoria? There are serious doubts as to whether the stolen foreign currencies really came from their sale, the report concludes.

In the wake of its publication, calls for the resignation of Mr. Ramaphosa multiplied in the opposition, but also within his party, the ANC.

But he then also received many political, union and business support. Until the head of the South African Anglican Church who warned that if he resigned the country risked descending into anarchy.

The African National Congress (ANC), in power in South Africa since the end of apartheid, is due to meet again on Monday morning, according to several political sources.

Its all-powerful National Executive Committee (NEC) will discuss the future of the man who South Africans colloquially call Cyril and who remains vastly more popular than the party itself, passed for the first time in its history below the 50% mark last year in local elections.

The caciques of Nelson Mandela's party met very briefly in Johannesburg on Friday , before explaining that he wanted to first take a closer look at the facts in the case against the president.

Majority in Parliament since 1994, the ;ANC, pl plagued by corruption and factional warfare, has chosen the head of state since the advent of South African democracy.

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