Will stolen ‘Buffalo Deal’ money topple South African President? | politics

Will stolen ‘Buffalo Deal’ money topple South African President? | politics

4 years after the dismissal of his predecessor Jacob Zuma Then imprisoned him after a series of scandals against the President of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa A similar fate is possible as a crack inside the ruling National Congress Party is pushing to have him removed from office on suspicion of involvement in a financial corruption case that threatens to end his political life if he officially condemned.

The scandal surrounding Ramaphosa, 70, who is threatening his political future, was called “Phala Phala,” a wildlife sanctuary in Limpopo province on the borders of Botswana, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, where the president owns a large farm.

Scandal erupted from this farm, which includes animal species including buffalo, when thieves stole hundreds of thousands of dollars and possibly millions hidden under sofa cushions in 2020, and accounts differ as to the size of this stolen money, with some sources citing it 4 guess or 5 million dollars.

And last Wednesday, a Parliament-appointed inquiry chaired by former Justice Minister Sundayel Nkobo presented “compelling evidence” that would incriminate the President, who was supposed to release the money but didn’t.

According to the report, Ramaphosa may have broken the law over the money hidden in a “little-used room” at his ranch, but a pro-presidential NCP lawmaker said the report didn’t say he would be held accountable , but hinted that this might be the case to have been necessary.

The report, however, jeopardized the fate of the president and the possibility of his impeachment resonated strongly in the ruling party’s corridors, though he may have garnered sufficient support from party leaders to avoid impeachment.

And the President’s spokesman announced on Saturday that Ramaphosa has no intention of stepping down and is seeking a second term in 2024, also saying he will campaign politically and judicially to refute those allegations.

Head of investigative committee presents report on Vala Vala scandal to Speaker of Parliament (Reuters)

Buffalo deal

The scandal came to light last June when a former intelligence official – who is described as close to Ramaphosa’s opponents in the National Congress Party – filed a complaint about the money stolen from the Ramaphosa farm, and the complaint accused the president of not owning up to the incident National Congress to have reported to police or tax authorities.

Responding to the suspicions leveled against him, Ramaphosa said the amount stolen from his farm was only $580,000 and not millions of dollars, stressing that the amount was the price of buffalo the bought from him by a Sudanese businessman and paid for it in cash.

According to the boss, one employee found it appropriate to hide the money under couch cushions rather than depositing it in a safe that many employees had access to.

But the report submitted to Parliament said the President should explain the source of the currency the thieves had confiscated from his farm in Valla Valla.

News websites quoted Ramaphosa as saying he never broke the oath and denied all the allegations made against him in the case.

South Africa's ANC party hosts a national policy conference
Ramaphosa speaks during a National Congress Party meeting in Johannesburg last July (Reuters)

politic and economy

President Ramaphosa is not just a statesman: almost two decades before his election as President of the country, specifically in 1997, he resigned from the National Congress and devoted himself to business, while during his break from political work he developed with great success into a businessman Assets.

According to Forbes magazine, Ramaphosa’s net worth was estimated at about $450 million in 2015, making him one of the 50 richest people in Africa.

The magazine points out that the current president built his fortune through his commercial activities when he founded the investment company “Chanduka” in 2001.

However, upon his appointment as Vice President Zuma in 2014, to avoid conflicts of interest, he gave up directing his commercial activities and sold his 30 percent stake to Chandoka, which later merged with the company “my brother” to form a group whose Assets are estimated at around $900 million.

The Executive Committee was convened on Friday to discuss the impact of the allegations against the (European) President.

The spirit of isolation

And before his election as president by Parliament in February 2018, after winning an internal vote by a simple majority of the votes of members of the late leader Nelson Mandela’s party, Ramaphosa touted the anti-corruption slogan and made a number of promises, but over time, according to his critics, they evaporated or little was achieved.

Today he sees himself under pressure not only from his party, which suffers from divisions, rampant corruption and a continuous loss of popularity, but also from public opinion, partly because of the economic crisis, especially the effects of the corona pandemic.

And before the president’s spokesman announced on Saturday that the president had no intention of stepping down, South Africa’s IOL news outlet reported that Ramaphosa may have announced his resignation as he was due to give a speech last Thursday but didn’t.

Local newspaper The Sowetan also pointed out that Ramaphosa had consulted with his allies to announce his resignation, saying his failure to attend the ruling party’s executive committee meeting on Friday angered members.

A number of NCP branch chiefs, including the head of the NCP’s KwaZulu-Natal branch, called on the President to resign to avoid court and parliamentary trials.

On the other hand, alongside the head of the Anglican Church, Thabo Makgoba, Ramaphosa won the support of influential ruling party leaders and businessmen.

With less than two weeks to go before the Congress party’s convention, the possibility of Ramaphosa’s removal from internal accounts remains open as the party commands a two-thirds majority in parliament, which will consider Tuesday’s report on the Vala Vala scandal.

It is worth noting that the same party previously forced the former President (Zuma) to resign after lengthy arguments after he was charged with corruption, later referred him to justice and spent some time in prison.

Recently, Ramaphosa appeared to be the most prominent candidate for a second presidential term in 2024 if the party wins the upcoming election, but the suspicion surrounding him could keep him from the competition, even if in this case he is the does not shirk responsibility.

Britain’s The Guardian newspaper said that if Ramaphosa were to lose the leadership of the ruling party, it would be difficult for him to continue in his position as president, but ruled out that half of the ruling party’s MPs in Parliament would vote for him after removal.

Meanwhile, South Africans fear that if the isolation option is enforced, the unrest scenario that unfolded last summer after the former president’s arrest, with deaths and injuries reported and described as the worst spate of violence South Africa has witnessed in years, could be repeated.

source : The island + foreign press + Web pages

#stolen #Buffalo #Deal #money #topple #South #African #President #politics

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top