The South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who was involved in a scandal, known as the Phala Phala case, may suffer the same fate as his predecessor Jacob Zuma.
A probe is underway on this case dating back to February 2020, when Ramaphosa and other officials allegedly concealed a burglary at the president’s Phala Phala farm.
Since then, the president has been faced with this case which is regularly put back on the parliament agenda, as parliamentarians are still trying to figure out why Ramaphosa did not simply file a complaint following the burglarly in his farm. The president failed to convince anyone with his defense.
Since the scandal broke, the National Assembly has been in turmoil, with the president faced with this case which is regularly put back on the parliament agenda. Parliamentarians are still trying to figure out why Ramaphosa did not simply file a complaint following the burglarly in his farm.
The opposition fires at the president on sight. Members of the radical Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party disrupted parliamentary sessions until they were thrown out of the chamber on contempt charges. Their leader, Julius Malema, described the head of state as a “kidnapper”, referring to the interrogations that his henchmen carried out at a time the president failed to convince anyone with his defense.
According to an affidavit, Ramaphosa had at least $4 million in cash stashed in a couch at the farm, and played a part in covering up the theft, following an allegedly illegal investigation.
The Phala Phala case became a burning issue in June after ex-spy boss Arthur Fraser opened a kidnapping and money laundering case against Ramaphosa, head of the Presidential Protection Unit Major General Wally Rhoode, and Crime Intelligence members for allegedly concealing the February 2020 burglary at the president’s farm.
Actually, Ramaphosa failed to report the theft on his farm to any police officer as required by law and has thus violated the Constitution by exposing himself to the risk of a conflict between his official responsibilities and private interests.
Today, Arthur Fraser no longer exercises any mandate, but he still have contacts in the intelligence and security circles. He claims that he is regularly presented with sensitive documents. This is why he asks the police to investigate the head of state on suspicion of money laundering and corruption, following “information, documents, photos and videos that have been brought to his attention,” he argues in his deposition. To those who doubt the reliability of his tips, Arthur Fraser provides the precise timing of the surveillance cameras that filmed the intrusion into Cyril Ramaphosa’s estate. The leak of these documents would have cause for concern for the Head of State as the African National Congress (ANC) is to hold its meeting in December to renew its leadership.
In this connection, former president Thabo Mbeki says the ANC has to decide what must happen if a parliamentary panel which began its work on Wednesday finds that President Cyril Ramaphosa has a case to answer regarding the Phala Phala saga. Mbeki said the ANC had to reflect on the accusations hanging over Ramaphosa’s head.
According to Mbeki, the ANC’s top leaders should meet to discuss whether or not Ramaphosa should step aside if the independent panel investigating the Phala Phala saga finds that he has a prima facie case to answer.
The former president said the ANC had to consider what type of leaders it wanted to elect at its December conference.
He said the ANC was being led by criminals. “When you talk renewal of the ANC, you’re carrying too much baggage of wrong people. You have to have the courage to face that you have a renewed ANC led by criminals,” he said.
The current prevailing atmosphere is reminiscent of the Zuma years and the Nkandla affair. Zuma had been pinned for having financed the work of his private residence in Nkandla with public funds. Every Zuma’s appearance in front of Parliament was turned into a demonstration by his opponents demanding his departure.
Zuma had survived impeachment proceedings, but the scandal plagued the rest of his term. Cyril Ramaphosa could suffer the same fate. Self-proclaimed herald of the fight against corruption, the head of state now finds himself on the grill.