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Ramaphosa Faces Impeachment Threat Over Phala Phala Farm Scandal

South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa could face impeachment after an independent panel appointed by the Speaker of Parliament Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula found preliminary evidence that he violated his oath of office.

Parliament will examine the report, which was submitted on Wednesday, 30 November 2022, and decide whether to push ahead with impeachment proceedings next week. The report says:

In all the circumstances, we think that the evidence presented to the Panel, prima facie, establishes that the president may be guilty of a serious violation of certain sections of the constitution.

However, Ramaphosa immediately denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes.

A statement issued by the South African presidency on Wednesday reads in part:

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I categorically deny that I have violated this oath in any way, and I similarly deny that I am guilty of any of the allegations made against me.

On Thursday, Ramaphosa delayed an appearance in parliament to answer questions, requesting time to consider the report.

In a statement, Parliament noted that the panel’s recommendations had “implications for the stability of the country.”

In June, it emerged that an estimated US$4 million in cash was stolen from Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala game farm in 2020.

The theft raised questions about how Ramaphosa acquired the money and whether he declared it.

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Ramaphosa is accused of not reporting the theft directly to the police, acting in a way inconsistent with holding office, and exposing himself to a clash between his official responsibilities and his private business.

The President has confirmed that a robbery occurred at his farm, but 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.

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