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  • President Ramaphosa to testify over farm theft scandal

    President Ramaphosa to testify over farm theft scandal

    Embroiled in a burglary scandal, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will appear before his party’s Integrity Commission, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) said Monday.

    The ANC “welcomed and commended the decision by the president to voluntarily present himself to the ANC Integrity Commission”, it said in a statement, without specifying a date.

    Dogged by political infighting, the ANC is trying to overhaul itself by stamping out corruption, with members facing criminal proceedings being systematically suspended.

    The party is expected to nominate its candidate for the 2024 national election in the next few months.

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    President Ramaphosa

    Since last week, Ramaphosa, 69, has been weakened by accusations that he was complicit in buying the silence of burglars who stumbled on large sums of money at one of his properties.

    The case began in February 2020, according to the complaint filed Wednesday at a Johannesburg police station by former South African intelligence chief Arthur Fraser.

    Robbers allegedly broke into Ramaphosa’s Phala Phala farm in the northeast of the country where they found $4 million (about in cash hidden in furniture.

    Ramaphosa himself has disputed the sum of money in question, but accepted that he buys and sells animals “sometimes through cash sometimes through transfers”.

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    ‘farm theft scandal’

    “I’ve never stolen money from anywhere and I will never do so. I have never stolen from taxpayers,”

    Ramaphosa added.

    The case accuses Ramaphosa of concealing the theft from police and the tax authorities.

    It sensationally alleges that the president then “paid” the burglars “for their silence”.

    Fraser, who said he provided police with “photos, bank accounts, names and videos”, accused Ramaphosa of obstruction of justice and organising for the suspects to be kidnapped, interrogated on his property and paid off.

    In the past, members of the ANC have been removed from office following the Integrity Commission’s recommendations.

    © Agence France-Presse

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