South African parliament votes against impeachment of President Ramaphosa
The South African parliament has blocked impeachment proceedings against President Ramaphosa. The president has received support from his own party, the African National Congress (ANC), despite allegations of theft and corruption.
Last week it emerged that the ANC, which has a majority in parliament, stood behind the president. Today, four members of his party voted to initiate impeachment proceedings, but it was not enough for a majority. A total of 214 MPs voted against impeachment, 148 voted for.
Two weeks ago a parliamentary inquiry released a report critical of Ramaphosa accusing him of stealing a large sum of money from his game farm. The president went to court last week to have the report declared illegal.
The case, dubbed Farmgate, came to light last summer when a supporter of Jacob Zuma (Ramaphosa’s predecessor) said a large sum of money had disappeared from the president’s farm. The president allegedly concealed this theft because he illegally obtained the stolen money.
Ramaphosa denies this and claims to have made $580,000 selling buffaloes to a Sudanese businessman. He then allegedly hid the money in a sofa, where thieves took it out a few weeks later.
The commission of inquiry indicates in the report that there is “considerable doubt” about this reading. He claims Ramaphosa hid the money to avoid questions about where the amount came from. After the robbery, he allegedly had the thieves kidnapped and paid money to cover up the affair.
ANC MPs today said the report does not contain enough evidence to justify an impeachment.
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