South African president Cyril Ramaphosa is facing imminent impeachment over the Farmgate scandal after he was accused by former chief spy Arthur Fraser.
The Farmgate incident occurred in 2020 when robbers stole cash they found hidden in a sofa at the president’s farm.
The president downplayed and concealed the theft of more than $4 million from his farm in northern Limpopo province in February 2020.
In his oath, he pledged to fight corruption the menace that characterized his predecessor Jacob Juma’s regime. With how he handled the situation, the panel headed by the former chief justice found grounds for his impeachment.
Five years into his presidency the scandal may seal the fate of his political career. Also, it will deepen the nation’s problems that retain the world’s highest unemployment rate at 43.1%.
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Former Chief Spy, Arthur Fraser implicated the president in criminal charges due to how he handled the situation. The amount of cash involved had the Opposition questioning the president’s integrity and the kind of dealings he is involved in.
This led to the formation of a panel by the Parliament headed by former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo to look into the matter and determine whether Ramaphosa is to be dismissed or not.
In his defence, Ramaphosa stated that his farm manager had a norm of storing the money in the safe. But he had a change of mind and felt transferring it to the sofa was safer.
The president further stated that he reported to the head of the Presidential Security detail and denied all allegations against him.
According to the findings of the panel, the incident was not properly reported to the police.
The suspects were arrested and interrogated secretly by the presidential security detail.
Pointing to a deliberate intention to keep it away from the public eye.
With this, the president is limited in options. He either resigns on his own or the parliament makes the move. Parliament may decide to do away with the findings or move to an inquiry on the same.
For impeachment to go through two-thirds have to vote on the motion.
However, things are not in Ramaphosa’s favour as his citizens do not have trust in the system any longer due to the dipping standards of living; suspicion of their president being involved in tax evasion and corrupt dealings.
His spokesperson was also quoted stating that the announcement of the president’s resignation is imminent.