South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has been re-elected as head of the African National Congress (ANC), his party, despite the scandal that has engulfed him for the past six months over a massive unreported theft on his farm, which suspects he covered up a money laundering business. Ramaphosa won with 2,476 votes against the 1,897 obtained by his challenger Zweli Mkhize, former Minister of Health, himself accused of corruption.
After the publication of the findings of an independent commission of inquiry set up by parliament, which found that Ramaphosa had been guilty of “maladministration”, opposition parties had requested to start an impeachment process against him, but the December 13 the country’s parliament had rejected the request. Only four ANC MPs had voted in favor of impeachment. Ramaphosa had previously said he had no intention of resigning, even if an impeachment process was launched.
Ramaphosa is 70 years old, has been in office since 2018 and denies all the accusations that have been made against him in relation to the scandal involving him, which was called by the local press Farmgate (“farm” means “farm” in English). His re-election as head of the ANC favors him as the party’s potential candidate for the 2024 presidential election, but he still risks being investigated by the police, tax agency and South African central bank over the Farmgate allegations.
The ANC has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994.