Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
💎 Access the Market Tools Trusted by Thousands of Investors Get Started

South Africa's Ramaphosa hits back as party backs him over 'Farmgate' scandal

Published Dec 05, 2022 04:35AM ET Updated Dec 05, 2022 03:48PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa leaves the African National Congress (ANC) National Working Committee meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, December 4, 2022. REUTERS/Sumaya Hisham

By Kopano Gumbi

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -South Africa's ruling party said it would tell its lawmakers to reject a report that President Cyril Ramaphosa may have committed misconduct over a stash of cash in his farm, giving him a lifeline as he faced the biggest scandal of his career.

Almost simultaneously, Ramaphosa asked the country's top court to throw out the independent panel's findings over the "Farmgate" affair, which critics have said should force his resignation.

"The president continues with his duties as president of the ANC and the republic," Paul Mashatile, Treasurer-General of the ruling African National Congress, said.

The inquiry panel appointed by the speaker of parliament looked into accusations that thieves had found large amounts of cash stuffed into furniture at Ramaphosa's private game farm in 2020, and that he had failed to report it when they stole the money.

The theft raised questions about how Ramaphosa, who came to power on the promise to fight graft, acquired the money and whether he declared it.

Ramaphosa has denied wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crimes. The president has said the money was much less than the $4 million to $8 million reported, and that it was the proceeds of game sales at the farm.

The panel's report, released on Wednesday, left him fighting for his political survival and raised questions over whether he would be able to lead the ANC into elections and secure a second term.

A copy of court papers filed by Ramaphosa's lawyers in the Constitutional Court showed Ramaphosa wanted the panel report "reviewed, declared unlawful and set aside."

Ramaphosa also wants any steps taken by the lower house of parliament, the National Assembly, over the panel report to be declared unlawful and invalid, the papers showed.

South Africa's parliament postponed by a week to Dec. 13 a debate that had been scheduled for Tuesday on the report.

"I submit that the panel misconceived its mandate, misjudged the information placed before it and misinterpreted the four charges advanced against me," Ramaphosa said in his sworn statement to the Constitutional Court.


The ANC's Mashatile said the decision by the party's National Executive Committee to back Ramaphosa had not been unanimous.

"Were we unanimous? No, there were a lot of debates, but we had to end somewhere, and what I am reporting is where we ended. That we will not support this report," Mashatile told reporters.

He said the decision was made in the best interests of the country and to secure stability, without elaborating.

ANC lawmakers, who have the most seats in parliament, are expected to vote against adopting the report when it comes up for debate.

South Africa's main opposition party, the liberal Democratic Alliance, said it had submitted a motion to dissolve the National Assembly and reiterated its call for an early election.

"Ramaphosa will survive," Jakkie Cilliers, a political scientist at the Institute for Security Studies, said.

"Ramaphosa, I think, is now convinced that he needs to fight on because if Ramaphosa were to stand back the damage this will do to the ANC in the 2024 elections will be substantial."

Investors fear uncertainty and that any other president could slow down or reverse economic reforms, increase government spending and take on more debt at levels they deem unsustainable.

"The conundrum for the ANC is that recent polls of its supporters show that President Ramaphosa remains its strongest drawcard for national elections," JP Morgan analysts said in a note to clients.

Ramaphosa is due to deliver the keynote address at the opening session of the World Science Forum in Cape Town on Tuesday, his first public appearance as president since the report was released.

South Africa's Ramaphosa hits back as party backs him over 'Farmgate' scandal

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email