Cyril Ramaphosa no longer plans to resign as President of South Africa, and will seek a second term as leader of the ANC and country.
On Wednesday, an advisory panel found grounds for lawmakers to consider impeaching Ramaphosa over his alleged failure to properly report a robbery at his game farm – during which he says $580,000 hidden in a sofa were stolen – and potential violations of the constitution.
Ramaphosa considered quitting in the wake of the advisory panel’s report that said he may have violated the constitution but in the end, he decided to fight back.
This came after he decided he weighs asking the courts to review a report that found there may be a case for his impeachment.
The ANC is scheduled to hold its five-yearly elective conference in two weeks.
“Resigning was one of the many options” the president considered this week. Now it’s off the table.”Vincent Magwenya, Ramaphosa’s spokesman via the phone on Saturday
The President has drawn all sorts of criticism from senior ANC officials after the controversial report, including Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who has said he should resign over the Phala Phala scandal.
ANC leaders are in Johannesburg this weekend to discuss their response to the panel’s findings, before a vote will take place on Tuesday by parliament on whether or not to adopt the report.
Investor concerns that Ramaphosa might step down as President triggered the rand’s worst one day loss since May and the biggest selloff of government bonds since 2015. Some of those losses were recouped after key allies closed ranks behind the president.
“Further evidence that the president will fight convincingly to clear his name will lift the rand. Although risks remain and the elevated political noise has afflicted domestic markets.”Annabel Bishop, chief economist at Investec, said in a note to clients on Friday
Furthermore, Enoch Godongwana, Finance Minister, revealed on Friday that there was a 10% chance of Ramaphosa leaving office.
Those comments came after Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe, the chairman of the governing African National Congress, said it would be premature for Ramaphosa to resign.
Ramaphosa’s decision to continue with plans to seek a second term comes after he received an “unequivocal message” from branches of the party to make himself available to be re-elected as ANC president. Last month, he received vast majority of nominations for the top ANC job.
“The president understands that message to mean he must continue with both the state and economic reforms which are beginning to bear fruit. In that regard, the president has with humility and with great care and commitment accepted that call to continue being of service to his organization, the ANC, and to the people of South Africa.”Vincent Magwenya
Ramaphosa is also considering asking a court to review the findings by the panel. A legal review will be crucial for SA’s democracy since the report is being used to remove a sitting president.
The panel “applied a law that doesn’t apply in this case” because it based its report on an act that deals with graft. If I was involved, I would take the matter on review.”Thuli Madonsela, director of the Centre for Social Justice at Stellenbosch University, said in an interview with Newszroom Afrika.
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