South African president Cyril Ramaphosa faces threat of impeachment over ‘Farmgate’

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South Africa: South African president Cyril Ramaphosa is facing a possible impeachment threat over the “Farmgate” scandal.

The president has been accused of covering up a $4m (£3.3m) theft from his farm in 2020, including kidnapping and bribing the burglars into silence.

A special panel investigating whether South African President Cyril Ramaphosa should face impeachment for allegedly covering up a crime that took place on his private farm, submitted its findings to parliament, two weeks before he faces a crucial party election.

The three-person team, led by an ex-chief justice, handed its report to National Assembly speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula at a televised ceremony in Cape Town on Wednesday.

In June, it emerged that an estimated $4m in cash was stolen from Ramaphosa’s game farm in 2020, raising questions about how the billionaire president, who took to power on the promise of fighting corruption, acquired the money and whether he declared it.

The panel was set up in September and tasked with ascertaining whether there was sufficient evidence to show that Ramaphosa committed a serious violation of the constitution or the law or grave misconduct, Mapisa-Nqakula said.

The report will be published within 24 hours, the speaker said. Legislators will then examine the findings in a one-day sitting on December 6, where it will adopt a resolution, “through a simple majority vote, whether a further action by the House is necessary or not,” she added.

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 alleged cover-up has tarnished the president’s reputation and overshadowed his bid for re-election at the helm of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.

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