President Cyril Ramaphosa and the African National Congress (ANC) are in a tight spot following the findings of prima facie evidence of wrongdoing against the head of state.
An independent panel led by former Chief Justice Sandile Ngcobo has effectively concluded that the president has an impeachment case to answer for in relation to his Phala Phala farm saga.
In its 87 page report the Section 89 panel notes that the president may have exposed himself to a conflict of interest, doing outside paid work and contravening the Prevention of Corrupt Activities Act.
The report notes that when viewed as a whole, the information presented before it points to a deliberate intention not to investigate the crime openly.
A large number of US dollars were stolen from the President’s Limpopo game farm in February 2020.
The theft only came to light this year when former spy boss Arthur Fraser lodged a criminal complaint with police.
The Hawks, Public Protector and Reserve Bank are all investigating different aspects of this case including the source of the US dollars and whether it was declared.
The National Assembly is now set to consider the Ngcobo report on Tuesday.
Parliament’s Speaker, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, says it will need to adopt a resolution, through a simple majority vote, whether to take further action or not.
Now President Ramaphosa has maintained his innocence in the Phala Phala scandal.
In a brief statement, the president denies that he is guilty of any of the allegations.
He says that he did not violate his Constitutional oath in any way.
The Presidency has also indicated that the Section 89 process has presented an unprecedented and extraordinary moment for South Africa’s constitutional democracy.
It says the conclusions of the panel require careful reading and appropriate consideration in the interest of the stability of government and that of the country.
The Section 89 process, which could see the impeachment of a head of state, was introduced in the wake of the controversial Zuma tenure.
President Ramaphosa is the first president to be caught through it.