Parliament delays vote on Ramaphosa scandal report

A parliamentary sitting set on Tuesday to debate a damning report that found that South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, may have violated the Constitution has been postponed by a week.

The report said Mr Ramaphosa allegedly covered up a theft at his farm. He has denied any wrongdoing and his spokesman said the report was “flawed”.

Parliament’s programming committee met on Monday night and unanimously agreed to hold the debate on December 13 to allow members of parliament to travel to Cape Town where Parliament sits.

Debate on the report could decide whether to impeach President Ramaphosa, although the ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) party has announced it would vote against such an attempt.

The president had on Monday moved to court to seek an order declaring any steps taken by Parliament following the release of the report as invalid and unlawful.

If granted, the order would apply to the vote by Members of Parliament on whether to launch impeachment proceedings.

A Sudanese businessman linked to a scandal facing South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa has broken his silence for the first time, Sky News reports.

At the centre of the scandal is the alleged theft of $580,000 (£476,000) in cash from the president’s farm, Phala Phala, which had been handed over to pay for livestock.

The businessman mentioned in an experts’ report as having handed over the money to Hazim Mustafa. Some doubt was cast over whether the purchase was made, but he has now told Sky News that he paid sum in cash to buy 20 buffaloes in 2019, but that he did not know that they belonged to Mr Ramaphosa.

“I wasn’t aware it belonged to the president. I dealt with a broker – the one working on Phala Phala farm,” Mr Mustafa was quoted as saying.

The panel that looked into the events surrounding the theft of the money from the sale concluded that the president had a case to answer.

The panel said there was “substantial doubt” that this sale of the animals took place, noting that neither the lodge manager nor the Sudanese national had confirmed that was what happened. -BBC

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