In a preliminary report into a cover-up scandal that has tarnished President Cyril Ramaphosa’s reputation, the South African anti-corruption watchdog exonerated him of any wrongdoing.
According to a report by Al Jazeera, The Public Protector has informed implicated parties of the preliminary findings of its investigation into the theft of large sums of cash from Ramaphosa’s luxury Phala Phala farm – a fact that the president is accused of attempting to conceal.
The incident occurred in June and involved approximately $500,000 in cash that Ramaphosa admitted was stolen from under sofa cushions on his ranch.
The president, who stated that the money was payment for buffalos purchased by a Sudanese businessman, has been accused of failing to report the incident to the police, abusing his authority, and exposing himself to a conflict of interest in relation to the matter.
According to media reports, the report exonerates him but finds that the head of the presidential protection unit to whom he reported the crime acted improperly by investigating the case directly instead of reporting it to the police.
The findings, which the far-left opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters described as “nonsensical,” will provide Ramaphosa, who has been plagued by the allegations for months, with some relief.
Ramaphosa had survived a vote to initiate impeachment proceedings against him based on a parliamentary report alleging that he may have violated anti-corruption laws by keeping undeclared sums of money at his farm and failing to report their theft.
In 2017, Ramaphosa was re-elected as the leader of the ruling ANC party.
In December of last year, Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected as the leader of the ruling African National Congress party.
Ramaphosa defeated his opponent, former Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, 2,476 to 1,897 votes out of a total of 4,386 votes cast by party delegates from across the nation.
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