Ramaphosa cleared over farm theft

South Africa’s anti-cor­ruption watchdog says there is no evidence of wrongdoing by President Cyril Ramaphosa linked to the theft of $580,000 (£482,000) – pos­sibly more – in cash from his farm.

In a preliminary report, the public protector, Kholeka Gcaleka, concludes that Mr Ramaphosa did not violate any ethics code or abuse his role as head of state.

The report says the president declared the theft within weeks of it taking place three years ago.

But it says the head of the presidential protection service, Major General Wally Rhoode, acted improperly by carrying out an unofficial investigation into the crime.

An independent panel set up by South Africa’s Parlia­ment decided late last year that Mr Ramaphosa had a case to answer, prompting calls for his resignation.

A scandal threatens to end the political career of South Africa’s President Cyril Rama­phosa. Seventy-year-old Cyril Ramaphosa became president of South Africa in 2018, having been active in the fight against white-minority rule – apart­heid – since the 1970s and was close to liberation hero, Nelson Mandela.

Mr Ramaphosa rose to the top job by pledging to clamp down on corruption – but now faces questions himself over a large sum of cash found on his property. —BBC

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