S.African inquiry into President Ramaphosa's farm cash hands report to parliament


South Africa's former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo hands over the report to the Speaker of Parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula on whether or not President Cyril Ramaphosa should face an impeachment inquiry over the Phala Phala saga in Cape Town, South Africa, November 30, 2022. REUTERS/Esa Alexander

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - A three-member panel set up to inquire if South African President Cyril Ramaphosa should be impeached after millions of dollars in cash were discovered at his private farm submitted its recommendations to the parliament on Wednesday.

In June, it emerged that an estimated $4 million was robbed at the farm back in 2020, raising questions about how the billionaire president, who took to power on the promise to fight graft, acquired the cash and whether he declared it.

The panel, formed in September, sought to find any preliminary evidence of wrongdoing by the president. Its conclusions are expected to be released later in the day.

While Ramaphosa has confirmed that a robbery occurred, he said the cash was from proceeds from the sales of game. He has denied breaking the law or any regulations relating to his office.

The timing of the scandal could hardly be worse as the president is less than a month away from an elective conference that will decide if he gets to run for a second term on the governing African National Congress's (ANC) ticket at 2024 polls.

Ramaphosa, however, remains a clear favourite to win at the Dec. 16-20 conference.

"Dragging the president before an impeachment process is a huge decision, it cannot be done on flimsy (grounds), it has to be something tangible," former chief justice and panel chairman Sandile Ngcobo said at the handover of the recommendations.

The chances of impeachment are slim given the ANC's dominance of parliament, where it holds 230 seats, or nearly 60% of the total, and typically votes along party lines. Impeaching a president requires a two-third majority.

The inquiry is separate from a criminal investigation that police are conducting, and which Ramaphosa has welcomed.

The report will be debated in the national assembly on Dec. 6 said the Speaker of parliament, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

(Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Tim Cocks and Arun Koyyur)

Article type: free
User access status:
Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!
   

Next In World

Twenty killed in bus crash in Chad
Godfather, Joker posters found in mafia boss Messina Denaro's home
Lebanese MPs denounce top prosecutor's moves against judge probing port blast
Putin discusses Russia's claim to giant chunk of Arctic Ocean seabed
Macron campaign accounts cleared by French audit body
Zelenskiy's party purges lawmaker for wartime trip to Thailand
EU's Borrell hopes South Africa can convince Russia to stop Ukraine war
Greek PM Mitsotakis wins no-confidence vote over wiretapping scandal
Letter bomb suspect sought to end Spain's support for Ukraine, judge says
Development partners commit $30 billion to food production in Africa

Others Also Read